Okinawa Marine pleads guilty to forging, passing $20 bills
NAHA, Okinawa — A 20-year-old Marine assigned to 3rd Marine Logistics Group pleaded guilty Thursday in Japanese court to forging and passing counterfeit $20 bills.
Pfc. Phillip C. Scott admitted he scanned a $20 note on a computer and made 42 copies of it in his barracks room last November.
He told a three-judge panel that he conceived the idea to send money to his pregnant fiancee in the States and to buy a new uniform for a Marine Corps ball.
The fake money, however, was spent on off-base services, including taxi rides and bar tabs. A Japanese prosecutor demanded a three-year prison term with hard labor.
Scott’s lawyer, Yuji Fujita, asked the court to suspend the sentence. Fujita said his client voluntarily surrendered himself to military authorities four days after he made the forged money.
Scott had been restricted to Camp Kinser since November until he was indicted March 21, when he was transferred to the Naha Detention Center. Sentencing is set for May 15.