Ryan Gustafson has been arrested in Uganda for allegedly leading a large international counterfeiting ring.
Ryan Gustafson, a 27-year-old American citizen, was charged with conspiracy and counterfeiting outside the US after the fake currency was used at multiple American businesses.
The US Secret Service traced the money to Kampala, where they say they found a counterfeit ring also producing euros, rupees and various African currencies.
Ryan Gustafson faces 25 years in prison.
“We will hold cyber criminals accountable and bring them to justice no matter where they reside,” US Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania David Hickton wrote in a statement.
Fake US currency was discovered at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, retail stores and businesses and traced to a postal box in the area.
Federal agents determined the currency was being sent from Uganda. A fingerprint on one of the packages led them to Ryan Gustafson, a US citizen who previously resided in Texas.
He is said to have located couriers through an online forum and established contact with them through private message.
The Secret Service coordinated with Ugandan authorities to set up an undercover sting operation to purchase counterfeit currency from the suspect.
Ryan Gustafson was arrested, and a subsequent search of his home netted a cache of fake Ugandan shillings, Congolese francs, Ghanaian cedis, Indian rupees and euros, as well as various counterfeiting materials.
US authorities estimate the suspect flooded the market with nearly $2 million in counterfeit currencies.
He has been charged with conspiracy, selling and dealing in counterfeit currency, and unlawful possession of ammunition.
Ryan Gustafson faces a lengthy prison sentence and a fine of $500,000.
Uganda’s parliament has passed a bill to toughen the punishment for gay acts to include life imprisonment in some cases.
The anti-gay bill also makes it a crime punishable by a prison sentence not to report gay people.
Uganda’s PM Amama Mbabazi opposed the vote, saying not enough MPs were present.
The bill has been condemned by world leaders since it was mooted in 2009 with President Barack Obama calling it “odious”.
The government knows there will be an international outcry, which could see some countries suspend aid to the country.
Uganda’s parliament has passed a bill to toughen the punishment for gay acts to include life imprisonment in some cases
Amama Mbabazi might follow up on his complaints about a lack of quorum, while it remains to be seen whether President Yoweri Museveni will sign the bill into law.
The private member’s bill originally proposed the death penalty for some offences, such as if a minor was involved or the perpetrator was HIV-positive, but this has been replaced with life in prison.
The MP behind the bill, David Bahati, told the AFP news agency: “This is victory for Uganda. I am glad the parliament has voted against evil.”
“Because we are a God-fearing nation, we value life in a holistic way. It is because of those values that members of parliament passed this bill regardless of what the outside world thinks,” he said.
The bill’s supporters say it is needed to protect traditional family values, which they say are under attack from Western-inspired gay rights groups.
Its critics say the bill has been pushed by some US evangelical Christians.
Holidaymakers and visiting foreigners are not immune from prosecution under Uganda’s existing anti-gay laws.
A deadly outbreak of Ebola virus has killed at least 13 people and infected a further seven in Uganda.
The health ministry says emergency measures are in place to deal with the outbreak, which began in late June but has only just been confirmed as Ebola.
The cases have been reported in Kibaale district, about 170 km (100 miles) to the west of the capital Kampala.
Officials say most are linked to one family, who may have contracted the virus while attending a funeral.
A deadly outbreak of Ebola virus has killed at least 13 people and infected a further seven in Uganda
Another suspected infection, at Kampala’s Mulago hospital, is also being investigated by doctors.
Ebola is one of the most virulent diseases in the world. It is spread by close personal contact, and kills up to 90% of those who become infected.
There is no vaccine for the virus. Symptoms include sudden onset of fever, weakness, headache, vomiting and impaired kidneys.
The first victim of this outbreak was a pregnant woman.
More than 1,200 deaths from the virus have been recorded since it was discovered in 1976.
Uganda has seen three major outbreaks over the past 12 years.
The deadliest was in 2000 when 425 people were infected, more than half of them died.