Fugitive pleads guilty to ID theft, counterfeiting

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 46-year-old Texas man has pleaded guilty to manufacturing counterfeit Federal Reserve notes, false representation of a Social Security number and aggravated identity theft.

John Thomas Humphreys faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in federal prison for the counterfeit note and false representation charges, to be followed by a consecutive mandatory minimum of 2 years in federal prison for the aggravated identity theft charge.

According to the plea agreement, on Feb. 2, 2015, the Green Cove Springs Police Department received information that two individuals, later identified as Humphreys and Joe Eugene Loving, were manufacturing counterfeit Federal Reserve notes in their hotel room at the Astoria Hotel in Clay County. The two men had active arrest warrants for parole violations in Texas and were subsequently arrested at the hotel by deputies from the Clay County Sheriff's Office. Deputies found a counterfeit $100 note on Loving after his arrest.

During an interview with law enforcement, Humphreys and Loving stated, among other things, that they were involved in a drug deal in Texas in December 2014 and had been on the run ever since. They estimated printing and passing at least $10,000 in counterfeit currency. In addition, they printed counterfeit checks using the identities of others.

During a subsequent search of the hotel room, agents located a box of personal identification information and financial documents belonging to other individuals, a printer/scanner/copier with counterfeit checks lying on top of it, counterfeit currency, and various computer media which had been used to manufacture the counterfeit currency.

A third individual, Paul Corbin Pennington Jr., was also charged in the case for passing counterfeit currency. Pennington, a maintenance worker at the Astoria Hotel, loaned Loving and Humphreys his computer to watch movies. Loving and Humphreys used the computer to print counterfeit checks. Pennington confessed to law enforcement officers that he had passed counterfeit currency in Clay County.

On July 9, 2015, Pennington pleaded guilty to one count of passing counterfeit currency. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Oct. 13. Loving's case is set for trial in September 2015.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of one or more federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Green Cove Springs Police Department, the Clay County Sheriff's Office, and the United States Secret Service Jacksonville Field Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin C. Frein.