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Financial Crimes
04/08/2010

Houston man arrested for possessing $2.6 million in counterfeit money

HOUSTON - A Houston man was arrested at his home on Monday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents after accepting delivery of a package containing $747,990 in counterfeit cashier's checks and money orders allegedly addressed to him.

James E. Brown, 54, was charged and had his initial appearance April 6 before U.S. Magistrate Judge John Froeschner, Southern District of Texas. He remains in custody pending a preliminary examination and detention hearing set for April 9.

According to court documents, a package addressed to an Eddie Wrobiv was sent from Ikeja Lagos, Nigeria, when it was intercepted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the DHL international mail facility hub in Fort Mitchell, Ky. An undercover agent, dressed as a DHL delivery driver, delivered the package to a Houston residence located on Windjammer St. Upon arrival at Brown's residence, the complaint alleges Brown claimed he was expecting a DHL package and identified himself as Eddie Wrobiv. Brown accepted delivery and took the package into his house.

ICE agents subsequently executed a search warrant at Brown's residence and located the $747,990 contained in the original package, as well as $1.8 million worth of alleged counterfeit monetary instruments, ledgers, check writing software, check paper, a commercial printer, western union receipts and three computers.

Assistant U.S. Attorney F. Andino Reynal, Southern District of Texas, is prosecuting the case.