Salem

Oregon tax worker accused of counterfeiting currency

Oregon tax worker accused of counterfeiting currency »Play Video
Michael Dietrich.

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A supervisor for the Oregon Department of Revenue has been making counterfeit currency at his home in Keizer for a year, police said Thursday.

Michael Dietrich, 29, faces charges of drug possession, forgery and tampering with evidence. His wife, Melissa Dietrich, 30, was arrested on drug and forgery charges, and police say more charges may follow.

Keizer police Capt. Jeffrey Kuhns said investigators received information three weeks ago that Dietrich may have been manufacturing and distributing counterfeit money from his home. Officers went to the house Wednesday, but the couple would not consent to a search.

Police secured the property and posted an officer out front while investigators drafted a search warrant request. Using a mobile device to monitor security cameras, the couple returned to the home and sneaked in through a back door. Police say Michael Dietrich tampered with and removed evidence.

Once police secured a search warrant, officers seized equipment they believe was used to manufacture counterfeit bills, including two computers, a printer, color ink cartridges, a cutting board and paper stock. Police say they also seized counterfeit $20 and $50 bills, methamphetamine, scales and packaging materials.

The Department of Revenue says Dietrich is on unpaid leave. He is a unit supervisor who oversees administrative and clerical workers who support tax collectors, but he does not handle cash, said Bob Estabrook, a spokesman for the agency.

He was hired in 2005 as a revenue agent collecting personal income taxes, Estabrook said. He took his current job in March and earns $41,112 a year.

An internal investigation is underway, Estabrook said, and Dietrich's access to computer systems has been terminated.

Police said they're unaware of a link between the alleged counterfeiting and Deitrich's employment at the tax agency.