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Illinois woman pleads guilty in Ritchie County counterfeiting case

CLARKSBURG — An Illinois woman pleaded guilty to counterfeiting after allegedly being in possession of nearly 70 phony $100 bills last year in Ritchie County.

Asante James, 21, of Freeport, Illinois, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of counterfeit obligations, according to a release from Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia Randolph J. Bernard. The release said James admitted to having 69 counterfeit bills in her possession in 2020.

She faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of as much as $250,000 when sentenced.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher L. Bauer is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The United States Secret Service, the Ritchie County Sheriff’s Office and the South Charleston Police Department investigated.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael John Aloi presided.

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