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Published: Saturday, 12/10/2005

4 charged in schemes to make bogus money

Four northwest Ohio residents have been charged with counterfeiting U.S. currency after making, and sometimes passing, fake bills in denominations between $5 and $50, federal prosecutors announced yesterday.

Named in indictments handed up Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Toledo were Carlos Molina, 28, of 3122 Kimball Ave.; Shawn Quinney, 18, of 3523 Burton Ave.; Deborah Burns, 35, of Lima, Ohio, and Joshua Fuqua, 25, of Dunkirk, Ohio.

David O. Bauer, an assistant U.S. attorney in Toledo, said Ms. Burns and Mr. Fuqua were working together, and are both charged with manufacturing and possessing counterfeit currency. Mr. Quinney and Mr. Molina operated independently; both are charged with manufacturing counterfeits and Mr. Molina also is charged with passing fake money.

The charges stem from investigations started by the U.S. Secret Service and conducted in cooperation with local police and the Ohio Adult Parole Authority. Agents have identified between $7,000 and $8,000 in bogus bills that they believe the four accused spent.

The Secret Service "was finding a lot of counterfeit money in the area," reported either by businesses or banks, Mr. Bauer said. He could provide no specifics about how the four accused were identified.

A federal arrest warrant has been issued for Mr. Fuqua, while court summons will be sent to the other three accused, Mr. Bauer said. If convicted, each faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

The holiday season tends to be a busy time for counterfeiters, Mr. Bauer added, because stores are busy and clerks are less likely to notice fake money.

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