Three men have been apprehended in a North Carolina fraud investigation. The men are accused of manufacturing and passing counterfeit bills in three states. One of the men arrested, believed to be the ringleader of the fraud operation, is an active duty Marine. He and two other men are now facing 54 felony charges and one misdemeanor.
The charges leveled against them are forgery, obtaining false property, counterfeiting and possession of schedule II narcotics. A local police department worked in conjunction with the United States Secret Service on the investigation, which is said to have resulted in the discovery and tracking of 1,000 fake bills. They believe the men were scanning the money, printing and then cutting out the bills. However, the paper they purportedly used is of a lesser quality than the paper used for real money.
The three men are accused of using the money at small businesses in the area and purchasing a small item once the store became busy. They allegedly would exchange the fake bill for the purchase and receive legitimate currency in return. Police say they were tipped off to the operation after bills surfaced in towns around the area, and while they initially thought it was an isolated incident, the bills kept surfacing and an investigation began. The Marine is in the brig on unrelated charges but will be handed over to civilian law enforcement once he is released. One of the other men was able to post bond, but the other remains in jail.
A conviction on fraud accusations can result in a lengthy prison sentence. The three men now have a host of legal problems ahead of them and will likely need to mount a strong defense that protects their legal rights while seeking the best possible result. As such they should become well-versed in their legal rights as they seek to fight against the accusations in a North Carolina court.
Source: StarNewsOnline.com, "Alleged counterfeiters arrested in Maysville," Tabitha Clark, Dec. 1, 2012