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May 2, 2023Brownsville, TX, United StatesFinancial Crimes

California man convicted of passing over $1M in counterfeit bonds following HSI investigation

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — A California man pleaded guilty May 1 to passing counterfeit U.S. savings bonds over three years. The plea follows an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with the U.S. Secret Service, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Inspector General, and the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Edgardo J. Rodriguez and trial attorney David D. Hamstra are prosecuting the case.

Daniel Alan Lewis, 53, of Hemet, California, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Fernando Rodriguez Jr. As part of his plea, Lewis further admitted that in November and December 2021, he passed numerous counterfeit savings bonds at banks in both the Houston and Brownsville areas.

According to court documents, Lewis and others conspired to create counterfeit U.S. Series I savings bonds. They then used other people’s identities to pass them at financial institutions and split the proceeds.

Rodriguez set sentencing for Aug. 10. Lewis faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 maximum fine.

Lewis remains in custody pending that hearing.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of DHS, responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.