Not guilty plea to counterfeit US notes

A Newnham man embroiled in an internet romance scam was sent nearly $30,000 in fake US dollars.

Geoffrey Keith Turner, 60, has pleaded not guilty to possessing $16,100 in counterfeit US notes and attempting to exchange some of it at a Melbourne airport in 2012.

The Launceston magistrates court today heard he was sent the money from his purported African lover Raven and her lawyer with instructions to send it back after exchanging it.

Mr Turner initially received $13,000 in fake US 100 bills which he deposited with ANZ banks in Launceston.

He was contacted by the bank and told the currency was fake and he should end his involvement with Raven and the man who claimed to be her lawyer.

He was not charged over this incident.

The fraudsters assured Mr Turner that the money in the second transaction was not counterfeit, the court was told.

However the prosecution said because of the first incident, Mr Turner would have known the second batch of money - $16,100 - was counterfeit.

Mr Turner's lawyer Evan Hughes said there was no question the currency was fake it was his client's belief at the time that is the issue.

Mr Hughes said the man had lost $320,000 of his own money because of the romance scam.

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