WEST (July 26, 2012)—Richard Steen, of West, was sentenced Wednesday to federal prison after he earlier pleaded guilty to participating in a counterfeiting conspiracy to pass fake $100 bills throughout Central Texas.
Judge Walter S. Smith sentenced Steen to serve 40 months in federal prison, to be followed by three years supervised release, ordered him to pay $700 in restitution, a $1,000 fine and a $100 special assessment to the court.
Steen, his wife Veronica Steen, Daniel Earl and Jacob Nathaniel Barnes, all of West, were charged in the conspiracy, federal court documents show.
Veronica Steen, Earl and Barnes all have been sentenced, as well.
A federal arrest affidavit says special agents of the United States Secret Service identified the group as participants in a plan to purchase money orders from a convenience store in West using fake $100 bills.
Earl and Barnes admitted to conspiring with others to pass counterfeit $100 bills at a business in West.
Secret Service agents say Richard Steen is who provided the counterfeit currency to Earl.
As well, the affidavit says on November 11, 2011, Richard Steen contacted a man who lives on Speegle Road about purchasing a .45-caliber handgun.
Richard Steen paid the gun owner in cash.
Sometime later the victim became suspicious of the legitimacy of the cash he was paid and contacted the McLennan County Sheriff's office who verified the cash was counterfeit.
Previously on November 6, 2011, Steen and his wife went to Hallsburg to purchase an assault rifle.
The suspects paid the victim $400 in cash, which the victim immediately recognized as suspicious and he demanded the return of the weapon.
But Richard and Veronica Steen took the rifle and ran to their truck, then drove away.
When Secret Service agents interviewed Richard Steen, the affidavit states, he admitted he knew the cash was counterfeit and that he provided counterfeit currency to Earl for the purchase of money orders.