An investigation into counterfeit money has netted a bunch of charges against three people.
It started on Oct. 15 when the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) got numerous complaints about counterfeit money; police found many $100 bills with the same serial number.
WATCH: Edmonton Police show off seized counterfeit money
On Nov. 19, police executed two separate warrants, arresting the trio and seizing identity documents, a debit and credit card reader, ID maker, counterfeit money, scanners, printers and what police describe as “other supplies relating to counterfeiting.”
“Most of this stuff is made using a general printer,” Constable Zach Jansen said. “It’s made on a home printer, with home-based paper.”
With such a basic printing system it may seem surprising that the bills were accepted at all. Staff Sgt. Sid Kingma with the Economic Crimes Unit said counterfeiters will scope out a target ahead of time.
“The counterfeiters will target a young clerk at a store when its a busy time, they’ll maybe insert one counterfeit bill amongst some legitimate bills and pretend to be in a rush,” he said. “Of course merchants are all about customer service so they want to get people through, so that’s how it gets into the system.”
James Richards White, 31, was charged with possessing counterfeit money, four counts of uttering counterfeit money, four counts of fraud and possessing identity documents.
Amy Alana Actmishuk, 32, was charged with possessing counterfeit money, breach of firearms prohibition, possessing a prohibited weapon, making counterfeit money, having instruments for counterfeit and two counts of breach of probation.
Travis Kale Dergousoff, 28, was charged with making counterfeit money, two counts of uttering counterfeit money, having instruments for counterfeit and possessing a prohibited weapon.
Police say more charges are possible and that counterfeit money is likely still floating around the city.
Not just Edmonton
RCMP have also encountered fake cash during investigations in recent weeks.
On Tuesday in central Alberta, Rocky Mountain House RCMP seized a “significant amount” of counterfeit Canadian currency during a traffic stop and arrested the people in the vehicle. Police did not say how much was seized.
A search warrant was executed at the suspects’ home in Rocky Mountain House, where computers, scanners, printers and additional counterfeit money were seized.
Police charged a 34-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman with possession of counterfeit currency, making counterfeit currency, possession of tools/items for making counterfeit currency, possession of methamphetamine and possession of cocaine.
Police said they were not releasing the suspects’ names pending further investigation. The man and woman were released from custody with strict conditions and are scheduled to appear in Rocky Mountain House Provincial Court on Jan. 11, 2017.
Meanwhile St. Albert RCMP said since Nov. 9, they have received six reports of counterfeit currency being circulated to various businesses: five of the bills were $100 notes and the sixth was a $20 bill.
Whitecourt RCMP have also seen an increase in fake cash, especially $100 bills. Since Aug. 1, they have have received 15 reports of counterfeit money being passed off as genuine.
A number of other detachments have reported similar instances in recent months. (bw/kb/sj)(with files from Global News)
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