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Local man gets three years for selling phony documents
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Robert E. Neener, 65, was sentenced in federal court on July 13 to three years in prison for possessing and selling documents bearing counterfeit federal agency seals and pretending to be a federal officer or employee, said U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee Jerry E. Martin.“The results of this case should send a strong message to those who are either engaged in similar fraudulent activity, or are thinking about it,” Martin said. “Such persons should know that if evidence demonstrates that you have used the internet to commit wire or mail fraud, you will be investigated, prosecuted and sentenced accordingly.”Chief U.S. District Court Judge Todd Campbell also ordered Neener to pay more than $43,000 in restitution to over 600 victims who had purchased documents from Neener through his Internet website believing that the documents were authentic and genuine.Neener admitted that he operated a document vending business from his residence in Smithville, which he advertised via the internet.Neener claimed that he could provide customers with authentic military replacement documents which were exact reproductions of those originally issued, and that he had contracts with military branches of the government.Neener obtained more than $200,000 from customers who ordered thousands of documents.Neener also used the official seals of various federal agencies on most of these documents without authorization to do so.He also either signed or copied signatures of various federal officials on these documents, which made it appear that the various awards or certificates were endorsed and authorized by such officials.Neener fabricated the names and official positions of federal officials, and on others he forged the signatures of real persons, including a former Secretary of the Navy and a former President.