A Hacienda Heights man has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for his part in a conspiracy to make and distribute counterfeit $100 bills totaling $6 million.
U.S. District Judge William J. Rea sentenced Michael Houser, 30, on one count each of conspiracy and aiding and abetting possession of counterfeit currency this week in Los Angeles. A jury had convicted Houser last month. Assistant U.S. Atty. David A. Katz, who prosecuted the case, said Houser played a key role in the conspiracy for several months last year, by supplying "indispensable technical expertise" to two Canadian brothers who did most of the printing in a Huntington Beach shop.
The counterfeiters were caught when they tried to sell the bogus money, in a $3-million "buy," to undercover Secret Service agents, Katz said. Houser was already on probation in connection with a 1983 counterfeiting scheme to produce and distribute $4 million in bogus bills, Katz said. Judge Alicemarie H. Stotler previously had given three other members of the ring lesser sentences for their parts in the operation. One, Kay Keddie, of Orange, served 60 days in jail earlier this year, and the remainder of a two-year sentence was suspended. She was placed on probation for three years.