Costa Mesa Counterfeiter Who Sold $100 Notes For $30 Learns Fate

Cooked dough?
Cooked dough?

For counterfeiting U.S. Federal Reserve notes, an Orange County con artist and convicted drug addict faced as much as 20 years in prison. 

Costa Mesa's James Peter Perraie, a past part-time Rancho Santiago Community College student with a history of methamphetamine and heroin abuse, originally pleaded innocence after his December 2011 federal indictment and arrest, according to court records. 

But in March 2012, a federal prosecutor obtained a plea agreement from Perraie, who acknowledged that he washed genuine $1 and $5 bills with an oven cleaner and, after drying the paper, used a consumer computer printer to convert the bills into $100 notes that he sold for $30.

An October 2011 raid on Perraie's home found $1,000 in counterfeit bills, chemicals used to alter the currency and numerous credit cards belonging to other individuals. 

Because Perraie, a native of Redding who was raised a Mormon and is now the father of an infant, cooperated with the government after his arrest and promised to clean up his life, prosecutors backed a relatively light 18-month prison trip. 

On Feb. 11, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford sentenced Perraie to the 18-month term, plus three years of supervised probation after his release. 

Guilford ordered the 29-year-old counterfeiter to surrender to U.S. marshals by noon on April 19.

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