The suspects in a counterfeiting ring that hit businesses in Great Bend and other central Kansas cities last July have been convicted and sentenced in U.S. District Court.
John P. Stark, 47, and Deona L. McNutt, 24, both of Great Bend, and Alyssa Dannebohm, 30, and Keith M. Dannebohm, 22, both of Hutchinson, were charged with counterfeiting $100 bills. In the same case, Justin E. Herren, 30, Great Bend, was charged with one count of passing two $100 bills.
Conviction carries a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $250,000 on each count. However, no fines were assessed and the longest sentence imposed was 22 months. Some counts were dismissed after defendants entered plea negotiations.
On May 4, Keith Dannebohm and Alyssa Dannebohm each entered pleas of guilty on one count of the indictment.
Keith Dannebohm was sentenced to five months of imprisonment, followed by five months of home detention. His imprisonment is deferred until after the sentence of his wife and co-defendant. Alyssa Dannebohm was sentenced to three months of imprisonment followed by three months of home detention. Two years of supervised release will follow; $200 restitution was ordered.
On April 30, Herren was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release and $200 restitution.
On April 29, with five of six counts dismissed, Stark was sentenced to 22 months imprisonment and three years supervised release.
On April 16, McNutt was sentenced to 8 months imprisonment; two years of supervised release and $100 restitution.
Sentences were signed by District Judge Eric F. Melgren.
The U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Treaster was the prosecuting attorney.
According to an affidavit by a U.S. Secret Service agent, the investigation began after a call from Detective Scott Bieberle at the Great Bend Police Department on Aug. 8, 2014. Bieberle explained that bogus currency had started turning up at Great Bend businesses last July.
Bieberle and the agent interviewed Stark on Aug. 8, 2014, at the Larned Police Department. According to the affidavit, Stark admitted to photocopying Federal Reserve Notes of $5, $10, $50 and $100 in Great Bend, Hutchinson and Salina.
On Aug. 12, the agent interviewed Stark’s ex-sister-in-law, Alyssa Dannebohm, who told him that on July 27, Stark gave her three counterfeit $100 bills and she took them to McNutt, who was the manager of the Burger King in Great Bend. McNutt exchanged the counterfeits for genuine currency from the cash drawer.