A 27-year-old man was convicted on Monday, 18th of February 2019, for using counterfeit money at a snack bar in Michelau. He was sentenced to one year of probation by the district court of Lichtenfels after being accused of paying with counterfeit in two instances.
Originally from Dörfles-Esbach, the culprit tried to exchange his fake €50 banknotes at a snack bar. After successfully deceiving the cashier the first time, in September of 2017, he got caught the second time he tried to fool the same establishment a month after, in October 2017. The business owner was swiftly advised by his bank that his deposits contained fake money. Both the police and bar staff was informed and remained vigilant. Surely enough, the fraudster attempted the scam again. However, while he was waiting for his exchange, the cashier retreated, took a photo of the suspect, and called the police. The suspect fled the scene after becoming suspicious.
Both the photo and two false €50 bills landed in the search system of the Coburger Kriminaldauerdienst service. He was deemed a wanted man for fiscal fraud. After a while, the brother of the defendant’s current fiancé started the police academy and recognized the man in a photo.
A house raid followed. Among other things, his laptop was confiscated. The accused objected to the seizure, arguing that the €600-laptop wasn’t even paid off. Nevertheless, Judge Barausch and prosecutor Philip Pasch remained tough on the issue:
“With the laptop, the counterfeit money was ordered from the darknet, so it is a (crime) tool that must be secured,” said Barausch. The accused finally agreed.
He paid €30-worth of bitcoin for a few fake €50 notes. However, the bills looked phony. As the culprit would declare himself in front of the judge, the whole operation was “naive.” The young man described how he had an awful feeling when opening the darkweb envelope. He took out the unconvincing forged bills but decided to use them, anyhow.
The trial ended with a sentence of one year of probation. Three months less than what the prosecution had asked. Furthermore, the defendant must pay €500 euros to a non-profit organization. The court considered it an isolated incident and took into consideration the fact that the man was soon to get married to his fiancé. Even if he was three years older than the minimum age to qualify for penal juvenility, the court took into consideration his “good social forecast” and favored a suspended sentence.
District Court of Coburg, Germany