Savannah-Chatham Metro Police arrested four people this week on charges of racketeering and forgery for allegedly spending counterfeit money. Authorities say the four spent thousands of dollars in phony bills.
WTOC has the story.
The four allegedly spent around $2,000 of counterfeit money at the Target on East Victory Drive. Police believe they then returned around $800 worth of merchandise to the Savannah Mall Target. So far all of the bills were in $20 and $50 denominations.
According to police, a Target loss prevention officer followed one of the suspect’s cars and wrote down a tag number. That information led to the arrest of Necshelle Smart, Shauawquinette Smart, Tyler Murphy and Monica Miller. The four are believed to be related.
All of the arrested individuals were given a bond except Necshelle who apparently has a prior forgery conviction. They are expected to appear in court on February 8.
Under Georgia law, forgery can lead to a 10 year sentence while racketeering can result in a five to 20 year sentence.
Our criminal defense attorneys have successfully handled numerous racketeering and forgery charges. In some counterfeit cases, individuals are recorded on videotape exchanging cash for merchandise. In other cases, a tip will point police to a home where a counterfeit operation is being conducted. Whatever the case may be, a good criminal defense attorney will explore every step of a police investigation to determine if there was probable cause to arrest an individual or search a home. If police conducted an illegal search or seizure, the evidence used against that person will generally be suppressed.
In this case, as in any other criminal case, all of the individuals charged are presumed innocent. There will need to be proof beyond a reasonable doubt to convict any of them at trial.
Page Pate is an accomplished trial lawyer with over 25 years of experience in criminal defense, civil litigation, and whistleblower representation. Page is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Top 100 Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers, and named to the list of Super Lawyers for the past 15 consecutive years. Page is a frequent expert legal analyst for local and national media and has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Georgia Law School. Read Page’s reviews on AVVO. Follow Page on Twitter @pagepate and on Linkedin.