Crime - Sacto 911

Reno couple plead guilty to counterfeiting charges stemming from Calaveras County arrest

A Reno couple accused of passing a counterfeit $20 bill in Calaveras County have pleaded guilty in federal court in Sacramento to possessing counterfeit U.S. currency.

William Theodore Lewis, 50, and his wife, Lori Marie Dahl, 50, also pleaded guilty Wednesday to possessing more than 1,000 unauthorized access devices, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office in Sacramento.

According to court documents, the Angels Camp Police Department received a call May 14, 2013, from a Save Mart employee, reporting that a man had attempted to pass a counterfeit $20 bill.

The police chief responded to the scene, identified a man matching the description the caller had given and arrested Lewis. Lewis was found with three more counterfeit $20 bills, authorities said.

Following Lewis’ arrest, law enforcement officers searched the hotel where Lewis and Dahl were staying and a stolen rental vehicle they had driven from Reno.

Officers found evidence of counterfeiting activity, including wholly and partially printed counterfeit U.S. currency in various denominations, a printer and various solvents and equipment associated with manufacturing counterfeit currency, authorities said.

Evidence of access device fraud and identity theft also were found in the couple’s motel room and vehicle.

Authorities said Lewis and Dahl possessed more than 1,000 unauthorized and counterfeit access devices such as credit, debit and prepaid cards. In addition, law enforcement officers found access device-making equipment, including blank plastic cards, seals and hologram stickers, and a card printer typically used for printing credit cards. They also possessed several lists with personal identifiers and information of many individuals.

Lewis and Dahl remain in custody and are to be sentenced Dec. 10 by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller.