Two people who were arrested last year for printing fake $100 bills were sentenced to time served.
Thanawut Owatverot, 46, and Christopher Ford, 31, were sentenced on Aug. 31 and Sept. 12, respectively, after accepting plea agreements that reduced their charges of counterfeiting and forging cash to passing or uttering. Both had served more than a year in jail at the time of sentencing, and they also will serve three years of probation.
The pair were arrested alongside Ford’s brother, Joshua Ford, in July 2017. The case against Joshua Ford was dismissed Aug. 28.
The case originally was investigated by the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office after Joshua Ford attempted to spend a $100 bill at the Walmart in Ammon. An employee recognized the bill was a forgery and called the sheriff’s office. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Idaho filed federal charges against the trio in August 2017.
Investigators found equipment in the Fords’ house that had been used to bleach $1 bills and reprint them as $100 bills. Christopher Ford told investigators he had learned to make fake bills from a friend in California. He denied Owatverot and his brother knew about the scheme. Owatverot admitted she had known about the scam for about a week before they were arrested.
Several receipts were found in the house for purchases made with $100 bills.
The supplies found at the house included art equipment, Benjamin Franklin watermarks and security strips. The bills were made by bleaching them, splitting the bill into two layers, adding the watermark and security strip, then rejoining the layers and reprinting the bills. The bills had unique serial numbers, but investigators found the security strips and watermarks were visibly incorrect when held up to the light.