Several people in North Carolina are facing fraud crime charges after an alleged counterfeiting ring was broken up. Authorities in Laurinburg, North Carolina, have arrested five people in connection with the alleged fraud after police were contacted by a retail store claiming it received a counterfeit bill.
Police questioned a 22-year-old about the bill and arrested her. Authorities also stopped the vehicle that she used to travel to the store. When it was searched, authorities claimed several items were found that could have been used to manufacture the money. Some of the items in the vehicle included a printer, paper cutter and more counterfeit money.
Two additional people in the vehicle were arrested. Another person allegedly involved in the ring was also arrested after she allegedly used one of the bills earlier the same morning. During their investigation, police were contacted by the same retailer about another person using an allegedly counterfeit bill, and a fifth arrest was made.
Authorities believe all of the counterfeit bills were from the same place, but the investigation is ongoing. They have contacted other cities to see if any counterfeit bills were used in additional locations as well. All five people face charges of forgery of an instrument, uttering a forged instrument and felony conspiracy. It is possible they may face additional charges.
Unfortunately for these people, the United States Secret Service has stepped in and is now a part of this investigation. This could possibly lead to federal charges. However, every one of these individuals is innocent until they are proven guilty. Charges like this can bring heavy penalties and jail time in North Carolina, so it would likely be in their best interests to ensure they are well versed in their legal rights and that they present a skilled criminal defense.
Source: Carolina Live, "Five arrested in counterfeiting ring," Tracy Vreeland, Oct. 7, 2012