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Ex-area football standout sentenced for fake $100 bills scam

A former college football player from Dayton who had pleaded guilty to a scheme to use fake $100 bills to buy postal money orders was sentenced Monday to time served.

Donye McCleskey, 29, graduated from Chaminade-Julienne, played football at Indiana State and once played a preseason NFL game for the Indianapolis Colts before being waived due to injury.

Appearing in Dayton’s U.S. District Court, McCleskey apologized to the government and to his family for the embarrassment and said he wants “to show I’m a productive citizen.”

RELATED: Ex-football standout pleads guilty to fake $100 bill scam in Clark County

McCleskey said the scheme to drive co-defendant Houda-Ezamane Hamadi to different U.S. Post Offices to exchange fake $100 bills for postal money orders was a “silly decision” and “a dishonest moment in my life.”

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Hamadi is to be sentenced later this month, Rice said. The duo originally were charged in Clark County Common Pleas Court, but the case was moved to federal court.

McCleskey had pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting uttering of counterfeit obligations or securities in exchange for the dismissal of several other counts. The non-binding sentence Rice calculated was from two to eight months in prison.

RELATED: Suspects accused of using fake $100 bills in Clark County

The statutory maximums were up to 20 years in prison, up to a $250,000 fine and McCleskey likely will be ordered to pay restitution.

U.S. District Court Judge Walter Rice said he was taking a chance on someone “who could be a leader in the community” and sentenced McCleskey to the 16 days he spent in jail after his arrest.

Rice attached several conditions to McCleskey’s three years’ of supervised release including 100 hours of community service, following all probation rules, committing no crimes, continuing his employment, getting drug testing and treatment, a mental health assessment, not owning firearms and not driving without a valid driver’s license.

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McCleskey said his new dream is to build a real estate business and that he was looking for quick cash for capital for a previous idea. McCleskey had no criminal record.

“I think Mr. McCleskey has come a long way,” said his attorney, Jon Paul Rion. “He understands the significance of what he’s done.”

McCleskey had been free on bond with electronic monitoring for six months before having that requirement dropped earlier this year.

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

An indictment said that on Oct. 10, 2017, McCleskey and Hamadi exchanged or attempted to exchange eight fake $100 bills apiece at post offices in Clifton, Enon, North Hampton and Christiansburg for a total of $4,000. Rice said the money orders were recovered and there was no financial loss to the government.

In October, this news organization reported that 10 post offices in the Miami Valley including locations in Dayton and Yellow Springs reported suspects attempting to exchange counterfeit $100s for money orders.

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