‘Money maker’ had $4000 in fake currency
AN UNEMPLOYED woman with a drug habit combined her creative flair with a so-called 'counterfeiting kit' to make her own fake $50 and $100 notes.
When police knocked on Shea Pearson's door they found bundles of fake notes valued a $4,100, an Ipswich court has heard.
Facing the prospect of more jail time, Shea Megan Pearson, 27, from the Gold Coast, pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to three Commonwealth charges under the Australian Currency Act, of making counterfeit notes at Coomera on June 19, 2019; knowingly have possession of counterfeit currency; and possession of a counterfeiting instrument.
Pearson also pleaded guilty to 10 separate charges including unlawful use of a motor vehicle in March 2019; possession of tainted property in April 2019; stealing petrol at Bellbird Park in December 2018; receiving tainted property; and possession of drugs and drug utensils in June last year.
Prosecutor for the Commonwealth legal officer Michael Potts offered no evidence on three other charges and they were withdrawn.
Mr Potts said Pearson had already spent nine months in jail before being released in March.
He said her method of making the fake notes had not been sophisticated and the Reserve Bank of Australia had set out a number of observations of variances with genuine notes.
He said Pearson used an ink-jet printer, and paper instead of polymer, and inserted clear windows, with police describing what was found in her home as being a counterfeiting kit.
Notes with a face value of $4100 were found.
The printer was found in her garage, with Pearson making admissions she used it to make the fake currency.
Mr Potts said she had a previous conviction for uttering counterfeit currency.
He said she was co-operative with police but the offence warranted a jail term.
Magistrate Robert Walker said the facts revealed a degree of effort was used by her to make the fake notes.
Pearson used A4 paper that was then cut out and stuck back to back.
Wax was also found, which she used to give notes the waxy feel of polymer.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Rose Molinaro said Pearson had a seven-page criminal history indicative of longstanding substance misuse, and was subject to a suspended jail sentence at the time.
Defence lawyer James Wallace said Pearson used her time very well in jail, doing a range of courses.
He said she was a New Zealand citizen who had no recent work and was unable to receive government benefits.
Use of methamphetamine had been a problem for her since 2013.
Mr Walker said the fake currency included 32 $100 notes.
He said the scheme included rubbing candle wax over the printed paper to give texture.
A stencil knife was also found with the printer.
"There was a high degree of effort to produce the counterfeit currency," Mr Walker said.
"The sophistication was not particularly high. The notes were capable of passing at a quick glance but a closer inspection would reveal they were fake."
Pearson was sentenced to a jail term of six months for the currency crimes, 268 days on some offences and a six-month supervised probation order for other charges.
With her time already spent in custody between June 2019 and March this year she was not returned to jail.