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Saturday, September 08, 2018 1:00 am

3 accused of passing bogus bills in Warsaw

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

Three Michigan teens are in the Kosciusko County Jail after allegedly passing counterfeit $20 bills at the Walmart in Warsaw, police say.

Filmel Charles Williams Jr., 18, of Brownstown, Michigan; Titus Tyrerse Mundy, 19, of Inkster, Michigan; and Isaac Barnett Young, 19, of Novi, Michigan, were charged with felony counterfeiting and a misdemeanor charge of theft.

Warsaw police Detective Ryan Coble said the men bought vacuums and electronic items with counterfeit money and returned them at other Walmarts to get actual cash back. Walmart loss prevention workers told Coble the threesome used similar counterfeit bills – many with the same serial numbers – at other Walmarts in Rochester, Plymouth, South Bend and Mishawaka.

“They had hit a multiple string of Walmarts,” Coble said. “They started a little bit further north and made their way south.”

Walmart security staff started to see a pattern, Coble said. The retailer was able to identify the bills as counterfeit because of repeat serial numbers used, he said. Of the 55 bills passed at the Warsaw Walmart, only seven serial numbers were used.

“The only identifying way to know if these bills were counterfeit is to look at serial numbers. There were several bills that had the same serial numbers. They started getting communication about other large transactions with $20 bills,” Coble said.

“Basically, their goal for their trips was to purchase vacuums and go to separate Walmart (stores) and return them for actual cash, which is a common scheme for what we see,” Coble said.

The three probably knew where the bills were coming from. “Online counterfeit bills are usually not good quality,” Coble said.