GREAT FALLS – Derek Mathew Ferdinand of Great Falls was sentenced to nine months in prison, two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1,485 restitution in federal court this week after being convicted of making fake money, U.S. Attorney Kurt G. Alme said in a press release.
U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided at the sentencing.
Ferdinand, 32 years old, pleaded guilty earlier to counterfeiting obligations or securities of the United States.
In May 2017, the Great Falls Police Department and Cascade County Sheriff’s Office received reports of counterfeit money circulating through local businesses.
Numerous business owners in Belt reported receiving the fake bills and identified Ferdinand as having been present while another person passed the bills.
A surveillance video from one business showed Ferdinand passing a counterfeit bill to a bartender.
A witness told investigators that Ferdinand had explained to the person how he made counterfeit money and was “getting the bills perfect.”
Law enforcement also spoke to another witness who had pictures of Ferdinand making money and reviewed the photographs.
Agents determined that Ferdinand was responsible for making about $2,000 of the counterfeit money that individuals passed in the community.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Betley prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the Great Falls Police Department.