Courts

An Eau Claire man will spend five years on probation for his role in making as much as $5,000 worth of $100 counterfeit bills.

The bills were to be made in exchange for methamphetamine, authorities said.

Elijah L. Stone, 34, 1817 Bellevue Ave., pleaded no contest Friday in Eau Claire County Court to felony counts of forgery, possession of methamphetamine paraphernalia and bail jumping, unrelated felony counts of conspiracy to manufacturing methamphetamine and uttering a forgery, and an unrelated misdemeanor count of theft by false representation.

Conditions of Stone’s probation include maintaining absolute sobriety, undergoing a drug and alcohol assessment, and having no contact with his co-defendants or known drug dealers or users.

Eau Claire County deputy district attorney Peter Rindal said Stone is already serving a two-year prison sentence on another matter and believes he will get needed treatment there.

There’s no value in recommending additional prison time, he said.

“I see it as an addiction behavior,” Rindal said of Stone’s criminal actions.

Stone told Judge Sarah Harless he is sorry for his actions.

“It was never my plan to become the loser and failure I am,” Stone said. “I’m fully aware of the gravity of my actions.”

Co-defendant Austin M. Kurth, 23, of Stanley, was previously sentenced to three years of probation for his role in this case.

Co-defendant Taylor A. Simpson, 28, of Chippewa Falls, returns to court Jan. 22.

According to the criminal complaint:

As part of an investigation, authorities searched a vehicle March 19 and found $4,500 in counterfeit $100 bills. All the bills had the same serial number.

A search of a second vehicle, which is registered to Simpson, found two counterfeit $20 bills and some drug-related items.

Authorities found text messages on Simpson’s phone concerning a proposition for counterfeit currency.

The messages were between Stone and Simpson and detailed in regards to making and exchanging counterfeit money.

Police arrested Stone April 12 at his place of employment and found methamphetamine in his possession.

A search of his residence the same day found a printer, ink and paper likely used to make counterfeit money.

Police interviewed Simpson on April 13. She said Stone would provide Kurth with $5,000 worth of counterfeit currency in exchange for methamphetamine.

Simpson said Kurth gave her the money to buy ink for the counterfeit money.

Simpson said Stone made some samples of fake money for Kurth to examine.

Simpson said she was at Stone’s residence on March 13, the day the $5,000 in fake money was made.

Simpson said she was “just the middleman” and did not assist with the process of making the counterfeit money.

Contact: 715-833-9207, dan.holtz@ecpc.com

Contact: 715-833-9207, dan.holtz@ecpc.com