Counterfeiter sentenced

Published 8:43 pm Tuesday, November 22, 2011

CASSOPOLIS — A Dowagiac woman who counterfeited currency on her computer imitating something she saw on television, then passed bogus bills at businesses between January and June got a jail sentence Friday.
Cass County Circuit Judge Michael Dodge gave Lynnece Nelson, 47, of 114 Jones St., a two-year probationary sentence that includes five months in jail, with credit for 16 days served.
Nelson pleaded guilty Oct. 10 to four charges, possessing counterfeit tools, using a computer to commit a crime and two counts of uttering counterfeit notes.
Prosecutor Victor Fitz characterized her as a materialistic chronic liar and the “counterfeit queen, at least for 2011.”
Fitz noted Nelson appeared in court Thursday for preliminary examination of five felony counts for allegedly attempting to defraud an 89-year-old blind man.
Her attorney, Lanny Fisher, agreed it has been a “tough year for her” and the lawn service business she and her husband own. Fisher said, though, it amounted to making a few bills in her home, not a large-scale counterfeiting operation.
Nelson apologized to the court and to her family for her “childish” mistakes and said, “I don’t know why I did it.”
Dodge said Hale’s Hardware, McDonald’s and Save-A-Lot were victimized, including a bogus $100 bill at Hale’s March 29; a $5 bill at McDonald’s April 21; and a $20 bill at Save-A-Lot May 23.
The judge said her criminal history is limited, with no problems with the law for a 10-year period between 1996 and 2006.
“You gave in to temptation,” Dodge said.