A Warren County woman has been sentenced to five years in prison for her role in a counterfeiting operation discovered last year.
Samantha C. Ellis, 39, was arrested Dec. 5, 2017, at her home in Holstein and charged with three counts of forgery, two counts of possession of a forging instrument, and one charge of felony drug possession.
Ellis entered into a plea agreement with the Warren County prosecuting attorney’s office and pleaded guilty to the charges June 5, according to online court records. Warren County Circuit Court Presiding Judge Wes Dalton sentenced her to five years in the state department of corrections, with credit for the time she has already served in jail.
Ellis and her husband, Robert J. Ellis, 37, were arrested after a string of counterfeit money reports in Washington and Marthasville throughout 2017. Warren County sheriff’s deputies who searched the Ellises’ home Dec. 5 said they found various tools used to create the fake money, along with multiple sheets of counterfeit $20 bills.
The couple had apparently been experimenting with different materials to forge the counterfeits, authorities said. They allegedly used a printer to make copies of real bills, which could be identified because the copies all had identical serial numbers.
Robert Ellis pleaded guilty March 15 to a similar array of forgery charges as his wife. He was sentenced to seven years in prison.
A small bag of suspected methamphetamine was located in Samantha Ellis’ purse during the search, leading to the felony drug charge.