0
Votes

McLaughlin-Williams, Blake Plead Guilty

McLaughlin-Williams pleads guilty of counterfeiting in federal court while John Adam Blake pleads guilty in Fairfax Circuit Court.

Douglass McLaughlin-Williams, 19, pleaded guilty to using counterfeit bills in federal court last Thursday, making him the fourth former South Lakes High School student to plead guilty in the Reston counterfeiting scandal.

McLaughlin-Williams faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, 15 more years than the maximum penalty faced by David Alexander Post,19, and Joseph Lawrence Bleich, 19, who both pleaded guilty on Feb. 6 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to "conspiracy to counterfeit securities and obligations of the United States."

John Adam Blake, 19, pleaded guilty to using counterfeit currency last Wednesday, March 10 in Fairfax County Circuit Court. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 2.

William Chandler Greene, 19, the fifth classmate charged in the case, was indicted Monday, March 15 by a Fairfax County grand jury for "uttering a forged bank note."

Greene is the only one of the five defendants who has elected to take his case to trial. Greene waived his right to a jury trial, and his case will be heard by a trial judge on May 17 in Fairfax County Circuit Court.

McLAUGHLIN-WILLIAMS HELPED lead South Lakes High School's basketball team to a Northern Region championship and to the Virginia state championship game in March 2003. This 2003-2004 NCAA season, McLaughlin-Williams was scheduled to play for Boston University on the basketball scholarship he earned.

But by June 2003, McLaughlin-Williams was part of the federal investigation into the counterfeiting scandal affecting him and classmates Bleich, Post, Blake and Greene.

Bleich and Post purchased a scanner in May and printed $4,000 in counterfeit U.S. $20 bills. After attempting to purchase marijuana at a concert in West Virginia in May 2003, the two each sold 10 counterfeit bills to a classmate.

By using two counterfeit $20 bills on June 10, 2003 at a Silver Diner restaurant in Reston, McLaughlin-Williams now faces 20 years in prison plus a fine up to $250,000.

"The maximum penalties for this offense are 20 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, full restitution, a special assessment and three years of supervised release," reads the plea agreement made by McLaughlin-Williams and Paul J. McNulty, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. "The defendant understands that this supervised release term is in addition to any prison term the defendant may receive, and that a violation of a term of supervised release could result in the defendant being returned to prison for the full term of supervised release."

McLaughlin-Williams is scheduled to be sentenced on May 28 before Judge James C. Cacheris in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

BLEICH, A FRESHMAN at James Madison University, and Post, a freshman at the University of Richmond, both pleaded guilty on Thursday, Feb. 5 to "conspiracy to counterfeit securities and obligations of the United States."

Bleich is to be sentenced before U.S. District Court Judge James C. Cacheris on May 14 while Post, a freshman at the University of Richmond, is scheduled to be sentenced by Cacheris on June 4. The maximum penalties for their offenses are five years imprisonment, three years of supervised release, as well as a fine of $250,000 and full restitution.

"Others may be tempted to use today's sophisticated technology to run their own version of U.S. Mint," said McNulty, in a press statement, following the plea agreement. "They should be advised counterfeiting is a serious crime and we will prosecute anyone who violates the law in this manner."