Counterfeiting Charges Filed Against Man Who Faked Death

A South Carolina man who was tracked to Indiana after faking his death was charged Tuesday in federal court with having more than $65,000 in counterfeit money.

Julius "Butch" Nesbitt faces one count of making counterfeit currency and a count of passing the fake money. He was arrested Jan. 8 on state counterfeiting charges, but a deputy Vigo County prosecutor had said he expected federal authorities to take over the case.

Nesbitt, 58, remained in the Vigo County Jail on Tuesday on counterfeiting charges and a South Carolina arrest warrant for drug charges filed before he disappeared Nov. 24.

Nesbitt admitted in an interview last week that he orchestrated his "death" to flee from the criminal charges against him in South Carolina. He said he tried to disappear after casting his boat adrift in an inlet about 30 miles south of Myrtle Beach. His disappearance prompted a search over several days by the Coast Guard and others.

The U.S. Marshals Service tracked him to a friend's home in Terre Haute and the counterfeit money was found during a search, authorities said.

An affidavit prepared by a Secret Service agent said that $65,290 in fake $100, $50 and $20 bills was found in the home, along with additional counterfeit bills that were being made, more than $18,000 in genuine currency, a copy machine and other supplies.

Counterfeit bills with the same serial numbers have been passed in numerous states, including Indiana, South Carolina and several other Southern states, the affidavit said.

A message seeking comment was left at the office of Nesbitt's defense attorney in the state counterfeiting case, Deborah Shepler.