June 17, 2014

Three men sentenced in counterfeiting operation

Two men bought electronics with fake money and a Sears employee helped.

Three Midlands men were sentenced Tuesday in federal court in a case involving counterfeit cash, flat-screen TVs and brothers.

Steven Leonard Smart, 32, of Cayce, Joshua Kendrell Smart, 25, of Fairfax and Frederick Shante Redfearn, 25, of Columbia were sentenced in Columbia for participating in a conspiracy to make, forge, and pass counterfeit money, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles.

Chief U.S. District Judge Terry L. Wooten of Columbia sentenced Steven Smart to 38 months in prison, Joshua Smart to 20 months in prison, and Redfearn to four years of probation.

According to evidence presented at a plea hearing, Redfearn was a salesman for Sears who allowed the Smart brothers to purchase flat-screen televisions and an Xbox from a Columbia-area Sears using counterfeit money. The Smart brothers then attempted to return the items to the Aiken Sears for cash. Redfearn was given $800 in counterfeit money for his help.

Sears employees in Aiken identified the bogus transactions and called law enforcement. Counterfeiting equipment and counterfeit bills were also discovered.

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