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Man Sentenced For Leading International Counterfeit Currency Operation

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A U.S. citizen that was residing in the Republic of Uganda has been sentenced to six years and two months in prison along with three years of supervised release following a conviction of conspiracy to manufacture, pass, transfer, and sell counterfeit U.S. currency.

Ryan Andrew Gustafson, age 31, was leading an international counterfeit U.S currency operation in Uganda that flooded the United States with over $2 million in counterfeit bills.

They were being manufactured in Uganda and by December 2013, they were being passed in the Pittsburgh-area in Oakland, Carnegie, and McCandless. People were purchasing these bills on a dark web website created by Gustafson called "Community-X" dedicated to selling these bills. The bills were packaged in a "Give A Child Hope Today" pamphlet and shipped to the individuals that purchased them on Gustafson's website.

In total, $1.8 million worth of fake currency was seized in Uganda while just $270,00 was seized in the U.S.

When Gustafson was arrested in Uganda in December 2014, he was provided with the option of staying in Uganda or being returned to the U.S., he chose to stay in Uganda, but he failed to present his passport and was ordered deported to the U.S. He arrived in Pittsburgh in December 2015.

He also ordered to pay $230,890 in restitution.

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