LaPlace man admits to passing around fake money

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 30, 2012



NEW ORLEANS – A LaPlace man and a New Orleans woman involved in a plan to pass counterfeit money at a New Orleans area Wal-Mart store pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to conspiracy charges, according to a release from U.S. Attorney Jim Letten.

Gregory Richardson, 34, of LaPlace, and Kennikqua Phillips, 26, of New Orleans, entered their plea before U.S. District Court Judge Jane Triche Milazzo, to conspiracy to pass and utter counterfeit money. The charge stems from a 2008 incident where Richardson used about $900 in counterfeit bills to purchase loadable debit cards from Phillips, a cashier at a Wal-Mart store on Tchoupitoulas Street in New Orleans.

According to court documents, in December 2008, Richardson conspired with Phillips, who agreed to accept counterfeit $50 and $100 bills at her cash register in exchange for a loadable Visa debit card.

Court documents state that on or about Dec. 29, 2008, Richardson and another individual purchased merchandise and several loadable debit cards with the counterfeit currency through Phillips’ cashier lane. The fake bills had phony serial numbers from 2004, 2003 and 1996.

When interviewed by U.S. Secret Service agents, Richardson said he knew the currency was counterfeit and admitting to passing the counterfeit currency at the Tchoupitoulas Wal-Mart. Phillips also admitted to the agents that she knew the bills were fake and that she allowed Richardson to pass the counterfeit currency at her cash register.

Richardson and Phillips each face a maximum of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and three years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. Sentencing is set for Aug. 30, 2012.

Detectives from the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office assisted the Secret Service in the investigation.