Feds charge 3 in counterfeiting cases


ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Three Alaskans have been charged in two separate counterfeiting cases, federal authorities announced Monday.

Eugene David Downey Jr., 42, of Anchorage, faces four counts of passing counterfeit $50 bills at Anchorage-area stores, the U.S. attorney's office said in a news release. He's accused of passing the bills from August to November 2013.

In a separate case involving two Chugiak residents, Matthew Lee Daley, 28, faces seven counts and Christa Louise Speiser, 30, is charged with four counts of passing and making counterfeit money.

They are accused of bleaching $1 and $5 bills and then using computers at their residence to reprint the notes as $50 and $100 bills. They are accused of passing several of the bills at stores in Eagle River on Nov. 7.

Prosecutors say Downey is in state custody and Daley was arrested Friday. An arrest warrant has been issued for Speiser.

There was no indication from online court records Monday that any have lawyers.

"Each year hundreds of counterfeit bills are passed in Anchorage causing financial hardship to those who unwittingly accept them as payment," Kevin Feldis, the chief of the criminal division at the U.S. attorney's office in Anchorage, said in the statement. "Counterfeiting is a serious crime, and it is important that we deter those who would consider creating or using fake currency."

The agencies that investigated the case were the U.S. Secret Service and the Anchorage Police Department.

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