Police Arrest Suspected Counterfeiter with $10,000 in Phony Bills

Jul 29, 2013

Alleged counterfeit money recovered by Syracuse Police.
Credit Syracuse Police Department

Police arrested a Syracuse man for allegedly possessing and using counterfeit money.  Their investigation began last June, involving the Secret Service, when they received complaints from businesses in Onondaga, Oneida and Oswego counties. 

Restaurants and coffee shops, drug stores and big-box retailers complained of getting counterfeit $100 bills. 

Last week police arrested 38-year-old Cornelius Johnson of Syracuse.  He is charged with 92 counts of possessing a forged instrument, after being found with 92 fake $100 bills.  Johnson was arrested on similar charges in February, 2008 and convicted in August, 2009.  He's being held without bail.

Authorities are asking retailers and others to check any $100 bills they get.  They've released the following serial numbers on fake bills they recovered to help identify likely phony bills:

  •  FF70978204B                BA27179985A               AB33085651W              
  • KB39553487H               AB11019243L                CB63735270C              
  • D75646662C                 FL58539363C                KB18440233G

Police are also offering tips to find counterfeit money.  They suggest comparing a suspect bill to a real one of the same denomination.  Look for differences in paper, size and spacing of the serial numbers, the fine lines in the border of the design and the quality of the portrait.  Counterfeit bills usually have blurred details and dark or mottled background.