The Hilliard Division of Police led an investigation that resulted in five people being charged for a counterfeiting operation. The case began in October 2018 when local businesses and residents complained of getting bogus bills.
According to HPD spokesperson, Andrea Litchfield, “We’re seeing counterfeit bills of all types: ones, fives, 10s, 20s, 50s and even 100s.”
Litchfield says many of these bills are coming from cash-related transactions, such as OfferUp or Facebook Marketplace. The city is seeing the funny money passed at gas stations and other local businesses. Hilliard’s neighboring city of Upper Arlington reported similar transactions in November.
The five charged are:
- Alan Curtis Jarrell, 37
- Ryann Parker, 39
- Kathy Beverly, 38
- Brian Keith Kiser, 38
- Shawn Crabtree, 43
Jarrell, Beverly and Kiser are being held at the Franklin County Jail. Crabtree is being held in Indiana.
Parker is still wanted by police.
“Of the five, four are in custody currently,” said Hilliard Police Sergeant Kris Settles.
Police say local businesses and people using popular websites to sell items were being paid with bogus cash. Police say they found an extravagant counterfeiting operation within a month. They worked with other agencies including seven counties from Ohio and Indiana.
“You may have been ripped off for 10 or 15 dollars,” said Settles. “You still need to let your local jurisdiction know so they are aware that these things are going on.“
When Investigators have the information they can then begin to use crime analysis data to find a pattern. That is how this case was solved according to Settles.
“In central Ohio we share this information with other agencies, and that’s when a bigger picture comes into focus,” said Settles.
The Secret Service says $3,400 in funny money was created.
According to court documents, the group spent time learning how to manufacture counterfeit currency to make it look realistic. They went to great lengths to develop techniques which replicated security features of U.S. currency, including the look and feel of genuine currency.
Hilliard Division of Police offers these tips to make sure you are not being ripped off
- Check the size of the bill. Is it too small or too large?
- Look for strange markings. Many of the bills in Hilliard have had Chinese writing on them. The coloring has been a little off, as well.
- Make sure your bills do not have the same serial number on them.
- Feel the bill. Counterfeit bills might have a strange texture or feel too thin or too thick.
- Use the marker test AND check for a watermark. Some counterfeit bills will even pass the marker test, so be sure to check for a watermark that lines up, too.
You can learn how to authenticate your cash at https://www.uscurrency.gov with training courses.
Making and spending fake money has been around in the United States since the inception of our own currency. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Secret Service was founded in 1865 to minimize counterfeiting. During that time almost half of the cash was fake. Then it was 7.4218 inches long and 3.125 inches wide. After 1929 the size became smaller, the 6.14 inches long and 2.61 inches wide.
In recent years, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing has added quite a few features to help secure U. S. currency.