BROADCAST: Fenton man is scheduled to be sentenced on May 13 for passing and making counterfeit money.
Joshua Knight, 37, of Fenton admitted to using hundreds of dollars in counterfeit money at numerous businesses in Arnold and other places around the area. He pleaded guilty to a federal charge on Wednesday (Feb. 5) in the Eastern District of Missouri, authorities reported.
Knight admitted to using fake $50, $20 and $10 bills at gas stations, fast-food restaurants, a hospital, a hotel, a Goodwill store, as well as to buy a used car. However, he pleaded guilty to a single felony charge of counterfeiting and forging securities. In exchange, six other charges of counterfeiting and forging securities were dropped, according to his plea agreement.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 13 and is facing up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, the plea agreement indicates.
Between August 2018 and February 2019, Knight used counterfeit money in Arnold, at St. Clare Hospital in Fenton and in the town of St. Clair. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office arrested him Feb. 28, 2019, at the Pleasant View Motel, 4301 Jeffco Blvd., just south of Arnold, according to reports.
On Aug. 14, 2018, Knight used a fake $20 bill to buy food at a McDonald’s in Arnold, and nine days later, he paid for a pizza delivery from Pizza Hut with two fake $20 bills. On Aug. 28, 2018, he used four $50 bills, each one with the same serial number, to buy two mobile phones, according to the plea agreement.
Then, on Aug. 31, 2018, Knight tried to use fake $50 bills at two locations in Arnold. However, a retailer rejected one bill, and an employee at a Circle K gas station would not accept three counterfeit $50 bills, the report said.
On Sept. 2, 2018, Knight used a fake $50 bill at a gas station, and on Sept. 18, 2018, he bought a vehicle with $400 in counterfeit currency and used a counterfeit $50 at St. Clare Hospital, the plea agreement said.
Then, on Sept. 20, he used a fake $50 bill to buy a meal at a McDonald’s. Two days later, he bought audio equipment with four counterfeit $50 bills, according to the report.
On Sept. 25, 2018, Arnold Police searched a Ford Ranger Knight was driving, and officers found a fake $50 in the glove box, and the next day, Arnold Police searched Knight’s home in Fenton and found equipment used to manufacture counterfeit money, the plea agreement said.
Knight continued to use counterfeit money in 2019. On Feb. 20, 2019, he used a counterfeit $10 bill at a Goodwill store, 3616 Richardson Square Drive, in Arnold, and he returned to Goodwill seven days later, attempting to use another fake bill. However, an employee did not accept the money from Knight the second time, the report said.
Arnold Police also received reports of Knight using two counterfeit bills on Feb. 20, 2019, at Advance Auto Parts, 3800 Jeffco Blvd.; a fake $10 bill on Feb. 26, 2019, at Express Mart, 1919 Richardson Road; and a fake $10 bill on Feb. 28, 2019, at Auto Zone, 1998 Richardson Road.
In addition, on Feb. 22, 2019, Knight used a counterfeit $10 bill at a St. Clair gas station, and when he was stopped for a traffic violation that day, officers found four fake $10 bills and equipment used to manufacture counterfeit currency in the vehicle he was driving, the plea agreement said.
On Feb. 28, 2019, the manager of the Pleasant View Motel contacted authorities after Knight used counterfeit money to pay for his room. He also was suspected of creating more counterfeit bills in the room, a Sheriff’s Office reported.
When a deputy found Knight in his motel room, the officer found fake bills and instruments commonly used to create counterfeit money, the report said.
The total amount of counterfeit money Knight manufactured did not exceed $6,500, the plea agreement said.