Gray Court man pleads guilty to counterfeiting

A Gray Court man pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to manufacturing counterfeit currency.

James Edward Cole, 38, was accused of passing the counterfeit currency at several stores throughout the Upstate after manufacturing the currency himself. Video cameras caught Cole passing the counterfeit bills at some retail stores. He also had counterfeit currency in his possession when he was arrested earlier this year.

The evidence was presented at a change-of-plea hearing.

U.S. District Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks accepted the guilty plea and will sentence Cole after she has reviewed the pre-sentence report. U.S. Attorney Beth Drake said Cole could receive a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, Simpsonville Police Department and the Greenville City Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamie Lea Schoen of the Greenville office prosecuted the case.

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