The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

September 4, 2012

Man faces time in federal prison


URBANA — A Danville man was the last of a group of seven charged with producing counterfeit money.

James J. Kirst, 34, appeared Friday in U.S. District Court before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Bernthal and received a sentence of 3 years and 10 months in federal prison on a charge of conspiring to manufacture and pass counterfeit U.S. currency.

Kirst was arrested in January and admitted that he and co-conspirator Sarah MacPherson of Danville forged $20 bills at an apartment they shared on Woodbury Street beginning in November 2010 through February 2011.

The fake bills — which were made using a color scanner/printer — were then distributed throughout the city of Danville.

According to the federal indictment against Kirst, the group then passed off a number of the bills at a gas station and various fast-food restaurants in Danville.

In addition to Kirst, sentences have already been handed down against his six co-conspirators in the case.

Five of the Danville residents — MacPherson, 21-year-old Brandon Gore, 22-year-old Andrew Sanchez, 26-year-old Kevin Williams and 24-year-old April Cremonesi — each received terms of federal prison.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and Danville Police Department.

Kirst, Sanchez and Gore were among four men arrested by Danville police in January 2011 on counterfeiting charges. Williams and Cremonesi were arrested for counterfeiting in February, but charges filed in Vermilion County Circuit Court against all of them were dropped in May.

Kirst pleaded guilty in federal court on May 31.