Anchorage man convicted of trying to use counterfeit bills at airport

From United States Attorney, District of Alaska

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - An Anchorage man was convicted Thursday for attempting to purchase a plane ticket at Ted Stevens International Airport using fake $100 bills.

The giveaway? Prosecutors say the bills were marked with bright pink Chinese text that translates to “training coupon, sample, for practice only, no circulation.”

According to the US Attorney’s Office, 28-year-old Abdikhaliq Hussein attempted to purchase a one-way ticket to San Francisco on Jan. 14 using seven of the counterfeit bills. The airline agent immediately noticed the bills were fake due to their “texture and appearance,” as well as the Chinese text.

“Two airline employees explained to Hussein that the bills were not valid United States currency,” the US Attorney’s Office wrote in a Friday press release. “The employees tested the fake funds with a counterfeit-detection marker and showed Hussein the resulting dark mark.”

After his encounter with the airline, prosecutors say Hussein then went to a Starbucks in the airport terminal where he attempted to pay for $7 worth of drinks and snacks using an identical $100 bill. When airport police contacted Hussein, they found him in possession of more than $11,000 of counterfeit currency.

“At trial, Hussein testified that he found the money in a plastic bag along an Anchorage street and believed it was real,” prosecutors said. “However, Judge Burgess found that Hussein was deliberately indifferent to the money being counterfeit and that he intended to deceive the Starbucks employee.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Hussein faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. His sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 8.

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