The counterfeiting operation was run out of the man’s bedroom.
The counterfeiting operation was run out of the man’s bedroom.

Man prints $40k worth of cash in bedroom

A MAN keen to score drugs set up a counterfeiting process in a bedroom to make his own money to fuel his addiction.

The word got out and Ipswich police nabbed the industrious counterfeiter and his $40,000 stash of homemade currency.

Ashley Francis Graham was charged with Commonwealth offences under the Crimes Currency Act and appeared before Ipswich District Court from jail via video-link.

Graham, 28, from Brassall, pleaded guilty to making counterfeit money; and possession of a counterfeiting instrument to make Australian currency.

The Commonwealth Crown prosecution case was that Graham, during a police raid of his Ipswich home on March 14 last year was found with a total of $39,870 in counterfeit Australian notes.

Graham made the notes which included 61 $20 notes, 323 $50 notes, and 225 $100 notes.

He had a computer and printer the Commonwealth found had been adapted for making counterfeit money.

Ms Hogan, the Commonwealth prosecutor said when asked by officers if he had anything to declare, Graham took them into his bedroom where the fake notes were.

She said they had been cut to resemble genuine Australian notes printed on double-sided A4 paper.

Graham used a laptop and printer then trimmed the notes and used a hobby knife to insert the plastic 'windows'.

Thirteen counterfeit $100 notes were found in his wallet.

Police seized the fake notes with a face value of $39,870. New and empty ink pots, his Toshiba laptop, a Brother printer, plastic templates and hobby knives were also seized.

Ms Hogan said a genuine $100 note had been scanned and copied to make the fake notes with Graham telling police he used the notes to buy drugs for himself.

The court heard Graham had a lengthy criminal history across 10 years with multiple convictions for drug, property, stealing, fraud, weapons, possession of counterfeit money, and dangerous driving offences.

The charges carry maximum jail penalties of 14 years and 10 years.

"The higher penalties reflect the seriousness as this undermines the confidence and integrity of the Australian currency," Ms Hogan said.

"There is a need to deter others."

Ms Hogan said the penalty must also take into account the quantity and sophistication of the counterfeit notes.

She said a jail term was appropriate with Graham having already spent 277 days in jail.

The Crown sought a draft Condemnation Order under the Australian Currency Act and the items used by Graham be destroyed.

Defence lawyer Dylan Hans sought the jail sentence be suspended immediately taking into the account the nine months spent in jail.

He said a jail term between 18-months and 2 ½ years was appropriate as when put in context making the $40,000 in counterfeit money had not been a sophisticated operation.

"He was making the notes himself in his own home with a laptop and printer, the reason to support his drug dependency," Mr Hans said.

"Trying to trick drug dealers might be considered dangerous but he says he was not.

"It was done knowingly. He would pay $500 instead of $100 for a transaction."

Mr Hans said that although his criminal history was lengthy, - "he is not without hope of rehabilitation".

Judge Orazio Rinaudo said Graham had a previous conviction in 2017 for possession and uttering counterfeit money.

He'd been fined and received a suspended two month jail term.

Graham had been convicted by a Brisbane court in 2016 for possession of counterfeit money and given a six month jail term released on his own recognizance.

He said the new charges carry maximum fines of $176, 000 and 14 years jail, with counterfeiting to be condemned in undermining the currency system.

"Your drug addictions seem to be at the heart of your offending," Judge Rinaudo said.

"Counterfeit money was to buy drugs on the understanding of the drug dealer the money was counterfeit and you were paying more with the counterfeit money than you normally would."

Graham was convicted and sentenced to two years jail, and ordered to be released immediately after consideration of the time already spent behind bars.He was placed on a $1000 good behaviour bond for three years.