Clovis News

Clovis man and Fresno woman plead guilty to counterfeiting

A Clovis man and a Fresno woman pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to buying and then using counterfeit $100 bills, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner said.

Between August and October 2012, Richard Melella, 44, and Christina Williams, 25, purchased 54 counterfeit $100 bills from a third party. The third-party gave Williams instructions on how to finish the bills and make them look more authentic with a counterfeiting device. Williams and Melella shared the fake money and used it at a grocery store in Fresno County, Wagner said.

The two pleaded guilty to conspiring to buy, receive, alter and pass counterfeit U.S. money.

Melella and Williams will be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill on Feb. 10, 2014. They face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and $250,000 fine.