Forum staff reports, Published February 25 2013
Three from Fargo face counterfeiting charges
Fargo police Lt. Joel Vettel said Thomas Porkpah Paye, 24, Marcus Yeah, 22, and Nyantey Gaylah, 24, all of Fargo, were arrested Friday on suspicion of facilitating forgery after businesses reported receiving suspicious-looking bills in higher denominations.
Vettel said police investigators, with the help of the Secret Service, identified the three suspects who he said had “washed” genuine $5 bills at various locations in the city, then altered them to look like higher-denomination ones.
“It’s a significant case, not one or two, but multiple bills,” said Vettel, adding up to at least $2,000 in losses to various businesses around the region, over the past several months or so.
Vettel said the “washing” technique isn’t unusual for counterfeiters, although it may be locally.
Police are continuing to investigate whether others individuals were involved.
Vettel encouraged local businesses and their employees to take a more careful look at the $20, $50 and $100 bills they receive.
“People should be looking for things that are unusual,” he said. “I won’t say some of these bills were apparent [fakes], but there were some warning signs.”
Vettel said investigators are reaching out to other law enforcement agencies in the region to see if they have any cases that may be connected to this one.