Saturday, June 20, 2009


More counterfeit bills show up in Eastern Connecticut; investigation expands

Norwich Bulletin
Posted Jun 19, 2009 @ 11:46 PM

New London, Conn. — Groton town police have joined with other law enforcement agencies in Eastern Connecticut to investigate the passing of counterfeit bills at area businesses.

Groton Town Police Lt. John W. Varone said there were three reported incidents in Groton in which a patron tried using a fake $20. He said they are exploring a connection to the two Norwich men arrested by state police Thursday for similar incidents in Montville.

Jose G. Rivera, 25, and Jesus M. Molina, 28, were arraigned in New London Superior Court Friday on charges of forgery and larceny.

State police said the men were caught trying to pass counterfeit bills at two convenience stores. A search of Rivera’s Roath Street apartment turned up a scanner and printer combo, an uncut roll of copied $100 bills and more fake $20s.

Molina told police Rivera had been selling five fake $20s for one real $20 for several weeks, police report shows.

Police reports also indicate the men pushed their luck when they made a return visit to a Dunkin’ Donuts Thursday to try to cash in counterfeit money. Shortly after midnight Thursday, police said the pair bought food and drinks with a bogus $20 at the Route 32 Dunkin’ Donuts inside Henny Penny in Montville. The clerk accepted a second fake $20 when one of the men asked for change, police said.

It wasn’t until after the two men left that the clerk realized there was something wrong.

“My night person felt the difference in the bill,” Henny Penny manager Veleka McKinney said.
A closer look, police said, would have revealed duplicate serial numbers and magnetic strips missing from the bills. McKinney said clerks will often mark a bill with a special pen to identify a counterfeit bill.

Police said the two men did not stop with the first visit to Dunkin’ Donuts. At 2:30 a.m., police said a clerk at the 7-Eleven across the street from Henny Penny refused the suspected fake bill, threatened to call police and watched the men cross the street back to Henny Penny.

The second attempt to pass off a bill at Dunkin’ Donuts prompted a call to police and led to their arrest. Police said each of the men had more fake $20s in their possession.

Police, who called in the U.S. Secret Service, are continuing to investigate where those bills may have been used.

Groton police have issued a warning, asking businesses and residents to be aware. Anyone with a suspected counterfeit bill is asked to keep it and report it to police immediately.

Molina and Rivera each were ordered held on $49,000 bond and are scheduled to appear July 2 in Norwich Superior Court.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Check your $20 bills, Check the feel and the numbers. Remember the bills were passed at the Seven Eleven and the Henny Penny in Uncasville. Be careful.

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