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Nigel Brown.jpg

Nigel Brown

HAMMOND — A federal judge has sentenced a 22-year-old Merrillville man to prison followed by home detention for his role in a counterfeit money scheme.

U.S. District Court Judge James Moody imposed a six-month prison term Thursday on Nigel Brown, who already had served five months in federal detention.

Brown also must complete a six-month term of house arrest during a two-year term of supervised release under the federal court’s probation department.

Brown pleaded guilty in 2017 to dealing in counterfeit as a cashier for the Portage Walmart, 6087 U.S. 6.

The government alleges Brown knowingly accepted about $7,000 in counterfeit money during five days in the summer of 2016 until the store's loss prevention officer confronted him. He reportedly exchanged counterfeit money with pre-loaded debit cards.

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A federal grand jury indicted both Brown and Demario Streeter, 24, of Merrillville, in November 2016.

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Streeter was accused of passing counterfeit bills and being a felon – convicted in 2016 of criminal recklessness – in possession of a .40-caliber firearm.

Moody sentenced Streeter in 2017 to 70 months in prison following Streeter’s guilty plea to the weapons violation.

Court records indicate Brown had no prior adult convictions, but was found to have previously committed juvenile delinquency. The judge ordered him to pay $7,150 in restitution.

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