SPRINGFIELD – A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted four Eastern Illinois University students for conspiring to make and pass more than $1,500 in counterfeit money.
Charged were: Gavin J. Groves, 19, of Olney; Benjamin T. Inman, 19, of Paris; Kyle E. Pittman, 19, of Newton, and David M. Skubic, 19, of Wilmington. The indictment alleges the four bought paper and used a color copier/printer in an EIU residence hall to make color copies of $20 bills. The counterfeit notes were cut and lotion was rubbed into them to make them appear more genuine.
The indictment further alleges the four agreed to pass the bills and to split among themselves the money received as change. It's believed the bills were passed from Nov. 27 to Nov. 30 last year, mostly at fast-food restaurants in Charleston, Mattoon, Paris and Marshall, as well as Terre Haute, Ind.
A release from U.S. Attorney Rodger A. Heaton said summonses will be issued for the defendants to make their initial appearances in federal court in Urbana.
If convicted of conspiracy to manufacture and pass counterfeit U.S. currency, the defendants face a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The maximum penalty for manufacturing and passing counterfeit currency is 20 years in prison.
The investigation was conducted by the Secret Service, Eastern Illinois University Police and police departments in Paris, Charleston, Mattoon, Marshall and Terre Haute.
Assistant U.S Attorney Eugene L. Miller is prosecuting the case.