Paul Rickett, 37, pleaded guilty in July to dealing in counterfeit money. He was sentenced Thursday in San Francisco by U.S. Judge William Alsup.
The investigation began when Brian Matthew Garcia and his girlfriend, Angela Ceaser, were arrested this year by Secret Service agents on suspicion of conspiracy for trying to mail counterfeit currency.
The two identified Rickett as the creator of the fake cash, and a Secret Service agent contacted Rickett to set up an order, Special Agent Jeffrey Jones wrote in an affidavit.
its tireprints were all over the crime scene ('96 Aerostar)
Rickett agreed to meet the undercover agent in early April at the Potrero Shopping Center on 16th Street in San Francisco. The meeting was secretly recorded with a device hidden in a keychain, investigators said.
Rickett showed the agent, who went by “Bill,” how real his fake notes looked, including their “rainbow effect” and the American eagle symbols found on genuine $20 bills, Jones wrote. Rickett then gave Bill $1,940 in fake notes in exchange for $400 in real ones, authorities said.
Bill set up another deal for April 17 at the Embers bar on Auburn Boulevard in Sacramento, at which Rickett gave Bill $2,000 in counterfeit currency in exchange for $400, authorities said.
Rickett was preparing to make another $100,000 in fake money when he was arrested May 8, authorities said.
His place of business was his 13-year-old van, authorities say. Rickett’s Aerostar was outfitted with a computer, a Canon printer and several reams of paper, which he used to make authentic-looking bills, according to the Secret Service.
His attorney, Assistant Federal Public Defender Daniel Blank, wrote in a sentencing memorandum that Rickett was a Gulf War veteran who “lost everything to his methamphetamine addiction.”