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Counterfeit money passed at Meijer, Menards and other places spur charges

Federal authorities say Eugene B. Anderson possessed the equipment and materials needed to alter genuine currency to display higher face values.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Four people have been charged with participating in a counterfeit money operation that passed bogus bills at Grand Rapids area businesses ranging from major retailers to a thrift shop.

Counterfeit money was passed in Grand Rapids, Walker, Wyoming, Cutlerville and Cascade Township.

Those indicted include 43-year-old Eugene Bilal Anderson; he faces the most charges. They include making counterfeit money and passing counterfeit money. Both are 20-year felonies.

The bogus bills were made at various locations in Kent County. Equipment was used to alter bills to give them higher face values, federal court records show. 

According to the 12-page indictment, Anderson in the fall of 2019 possessed equipment and materials at a Cascade Township motel to make the counterfeit bills. He then passed two of them at a nearby gas station.

In December of 2019, he had counterfeiting equipment at a motel off of Three Mile Road NW in Walker. Anderson and a co-defendant are accused of passing eight counterfeit $50 bills at a Meijer store in Walker.

Counterfeit bills were also made at a home in Kentwood with higher face values of $10, $20, $50 and $100, court records show.

Counterfeit money linked to the group showed up at a thrift store on 68th Street SE, a Menards store in Wyoming, an Aldi store in Wyoming and a restaurant on Leonard Street NW in Grand Rapids.

Making and passing counterfeit money has been a problem in the area before. 

In 2019, three Chicago men were charged in federal court with passing counterfeit money throughout western Michigan. The trio were linked to counterfeit money in Big Rapids, Grand Rapids, Grand Haven and Norton Shores.

In that case, federal investigators say $1 bills were bleached and printed over to appear like $100 bills.

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