Phoenix Man Indicted for Making U.S. Currency at Arizona Casino

PHOENIX (LAWFUEL) – A federal grand jury in Phoenix returned a 2-count indictment today against John Tibor Vigh, 36, of Phoenix, for allegedly making and possessing counterfeit U.S. currency in a hotel room at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Hotel and Casino in Maricopa, Ariz. Vigh will receive a summons to make an initial appearance in federal court.

According to the indictment, which charges Vigh with Making and Possessing Counterfeit Obligations, the defendant made and possessed counterfeit currency on April 23, 2008. Hotel security officials discovered the materials used to make the counterfeit currency and the fraudulent bills in Vigh’s casino hotel room after he overstayed his checkout time. Vigh had ink on his hands and ink was visible on the bed sheets, a pillow case and a towel in the room.

During a search of the defendant’s belongings additional counterfeit currency, paper scraps and a printer were discovered. The search warrant also contained information about a prior contact between Vigh and authorities at the Fort McDowell Casino in Fountain Hills, Ariz. where he had previously been questioned about possessing counterfeit currency.

An indictment is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

A conviction for Making Counterfeit Obligations (currency) and Uttering (Possession) of Counterfeit Obligations (currency) each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine or both. In determining an actual sentence, the assigned federal judge will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.

The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Ak-Chin Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Secret Service. The prosecution is being handled by Mark Brnovich, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.


RELEASE NUMBER: 2008-268(Vigh)

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