By Jeremy Appel
Alberta Newspaper Group
Police have arrested a 24-year-old Redcliff man accused of spreading fake U.S. currency in the Hat.
A news release from the Medicine Hat Police Service says the priority street crimes unit was led to the suspect based on tips from the public, which were prompted by the concerns of local business owners.
MHPS Staff Sgt. Cory Both told the News this was the same bogus U.S. currency police had issued a news release about Feb. 24.
“It’s the same stuff that’s been circulating around,” he said. “We’ve had a few cases of it.”
On Feb. 28, the MHPS and Redcliff RCMP executed a search warrant on a residence located at the 500 block of Broadway Avenue E. in Redcliff, where they found several counterfeit bills, as well as a digital printer, scanner, and paper cutter that are believed to have been used to make the fake currency.
Additionally, officers found stolen credit cards and personal identification.
“It wasn’t a very sophisticated operation,” explained Both.
Austin Lane is charged with possession of counterfeit currency, making counterfeit money, possession of material for counterfeiting, possession of credit card data, possession of identification documents and multiple counts of possessing stolen property.
Both says U.S. currency is much simpler to counterfeit than Canadian.
“It’s just easier to photocopy and get the colour configuration, and people are less familiar with it up here, so there’s less complexity,” he said.
In this case, the bills were obviously fake, said Both.
“They’re really not even passable, but (counterfeiters) know there’s a certain segment of the community who would rather just take the money instead of forcing a conflict,” he said.
Lane has been released on $200 cash bail.