Jan 11, 2007

Woman pleads guilty in counterfeit token case

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ A Toronto woman pleaded guilty Wednesday for her part in an operation that flooded Toronto's transit system with high-quality counterfeit tokens.

Andrea Dawson, 31, admitted to driving a dozen boxes of the American-made tokens into Canada during three trips. She was arrested in February 2006 at a Niagara Falls, N.Y., car wash while picking up 80,000 tokens.

Dawson pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She could receive up to five years in prison when she is sentenced March 23.

Since September 2004, more than 2 million Toronto Transit Commission tokens have been produced by a company in the northeast United States and delivered to a Niagara Falls, N.Y., address, according to court documents. The company was not identified.

The counterfeit tokens, each with a face value of $2.50, were made with the exact alloy used by the Royal Canadian Mint to produce authentic TTC tokens.

Authorities have said at least two other people have been arrested in the operation.

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