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10/17/2011

Minnesota man pleads guilty to counterfeiting postage stamps

MINNEAPOLIS — A Twin Cities man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Monday to manufacturing counterfeit postage-meter stamps. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations in cooperation with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS).

Andre George Mehilove, 31 of Prior Lake, pleaded guilty to one count of counterfeiting postage stamps. Mehilove, who was indicted on July 6, entered his plea before U.S. District Court Judge Richard H. Kyle.

In his plea agreement, Mehilove admitted that from August 2006 through April 3, 2009, he created counterfeit postage-meter stamps using his personal computer and a printer. The stamps were copies of postage-meter stamps he had purchased online. In addition, Mehilove admitted that he used those counterfeit stamps to mail items and that he also sold those counterfeit stamps online. On April 3, 2009, during a search warrant executed at Mehilove's residence and place of employment, special agents seized various computers, items with counterfeit postage, PayPal identity devices, and online postage labels.

Mehilove faces a potential maximum penalty of five years in prison. Judge Kyle will determine his sentence at a future hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.