Counterfeit money case ends in plea of guilty

CITY / COUNTY DIGEST

January 20, 2007

A Baltimore County liquor store manager admitted in federal court yesterday that he received more than $120,000 in counterfeit money smuggled into Maryland from Israel. Mordechai Mizrahi, 57, of Reisterstown pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Baltimore to conspiracy to sell counterfeit U.S. currency.

According to the plea agreement presented to the court, Mizrahi imported $120,000 in counterfeit $100 bills from co-conspirators in Israel beginning in January 2003.

Prosecutors said that Mizrahi typically paid about $32,500 in legitimate U.S. currency for every $100,000 of counterfeit bills. For example, U.S. Secret Service agents obtained 11 counterfeit $100 bills used at a grocery store in Reisterstown in April 2003. Ten of the bills, according to charging documents, had been used to purchase money orders that were deposited into a bank account held by Joppa Liquors of Parkville, a business managed by Mizrahi.

Mizrahi also used about $8,000 in counterfeit bills at different casinos in Atlantic City, N.J, court papers show. On October 31, 2003, Howard County Police arrested Mizrahi after authorities said he tried to pass fake $100 bills at a golf course in Marriottsville.

Mizrahi faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison followed by two years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine when he appears before Judge Andre M. Davis for sentencing scheduled for April 27.

Matthew Dolan

Baltimore: Justice

`Stop Snitching' star sentenced

The star of the Stop Snitching DVD that glamorized witness intimidation in Baltimore was sentenced to three years in prison yesterday for assaulting an employee at Mondawmin Mall, the city prosecutor's office said.

Ronnie Thomas, known on the street and in the video as "Skinny Suggs," pleaded guilty Wednesday to first-degree assault. Yesterday, Circuit Judge Martin P. Welch suspended all but three years of a 15-year sentence, imposed three years' probation and ordered Thomas to pay $1,471 to the victim.

The attack occurred Feb. 13 last year during an argument with a woman who worked at USA Boutique, according to charging documents. The woman told police she suffered a chipped tooth. Police also charged Thomas with robbing a woman Feb. 18, but prosecutors said they dropped that charge as part of a plea agreement.

W. North Ave.

Section to close for construction

West North Avenue between Warwick and Braddish avenues will be closed from 4 a.m. today until midnight tomorrow so that work crews can install a pedestrian bridge for Coppin State University. Motorists going east on North Avenue will be detoured south onto North Longwood Street, Baker Street and finally Bentalou Street to get back to North Avenue. Westbound traffic will detoured onto Bentalou Street, Baker Street and Bloomingdale Road to get back to North Avenue.

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