This archived article was written by: Josh Luke
During October 2003, College of Eastern Utah student Daniel Dieli was arrested by the Price City Police Department for counterfeiting $100 bills. Dieli used the College of Eastern Utah’s Graphic Arts Department equipment to make the counterfeit bills, first using a computer, then a scanner, and finally using the college’s laser printer to print the $100 counterfeit bills and then duplicate them. One of these bills passed for authentic money at McDonald’s in Price.
Dieli was a sophomore at CEU who was born in California and attended high school in Oregon. Several instructors who knew him, felt he was a good student who excelled in many of his art classes.
Dieli used CEU’s computer equipment to design and print his counterfeit $100 bills. After designing the $100 bill, he quizzed printing instructor Brent Haddock about printing techniques. Dieli ended up printing the counterfeit bill on the graphic lab’s color laser printer.
Dieli gave one of the counterfeit bills to a female resident in Price. After receiving the $100 bill, she bought drugs with it. The person she bought the drugs from soon realized that the bill was counterfeit. This individual then showed the counterfeit bill to another female individual. She took the bill because she believed she could pass it at a local business. After she assumed possession of the bill, she went to the Main Street Maverick store and tried to pass it. This attempt failed so she gave the bill to another individual who also tried to pass the counterfeit bill at Market Express in South Price. This attempt also failed. That bill ended up being destroyed, reported the Price City Police arrest report document.
The second counterfeit bill was taken to Wendy’s where another attempt to pass the bill failed. After this failed attempt, the bill was taken to McDonald’s. An employee at McDonald’s took the counterfeit bill. When the local food chain deposited the $100 bill at Zion’s Bank, they notified McDonald’s employees that it was counterfeit and then contacted the Price City Police Department.
Price City Police investigated the counterfeit scheme and arrested three individuals including Dieli and booked them into the Carbon County Jail. The other two individuals who tried to pass the counterfeit money were arrested and booked for forgery and passing counterfeit currency. After the arrests, the graphic arts computer Dieli used was confiscated by the U.S. Secret Service for evidence. It was later returned to the department.
The successful investigation was achieved through the combined efforts of the U.S. Secret Service, the Price City Police Department and the College of Eastern Utah Police Department.
As a student at CEU, Dieli had the computer capabilities to make the counterfeit money, because like every other student in college, he had access to a computer and the knowledge of several computer art programs.
Instructor Nathan Wilson said, “It’s too bad that someone would use equipment that was there for their benefit to commit a crime. The computer that Dieli used had the capabilities to make the money looked real on the screen but he didn’t have the correct printing capabilities. Both Officer James Prettyman and Wilson said that it “probably isn’t a good idea to try to make counterfeit money because it isn’t very hard to tell that it is actually counterfeit.”