Menomonee Falls businesses were among those taken in by counterfeit bills that federal authorities say four Milwaukee men were passing in the Milwaukee area.
And officers in the Menomonee Falls Police Department helped lead authorities to the arrest of four individuals involved in an extensive counterfeit ring.
The U.S. Attorney's Office on Tuesday charged the men—Steven G. Luster, 49, and his son Stevon M. Luster, 20; Abraham T. Scull, 28, and Antonio L. Jenkins-Gates, 30—with possessing, selling and passing more than $25,000 of counterfeit U.S. currency.
The charges follow a long investigation by the United States Secret Service, working with local law enforcement agencies throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. The case against Scull and Jenkins-Gates involves the passing of counterfeit bills in Menomonee Falls and Wauwatosa, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, and the case against the Lusters involves incidents in West Milwaukee, Franklin, Pleasant Prairie, Greenfield, Brookfield, New Berlin, Waukesha , Fond du Lac, Wauwatosa, Menomonee Falls, Grafton, Germantown, Delafield, and Glendale.
The men are accused of bleaching $5 bills, and reprinting them into higher-denomination bills, then either using them to make purchases throughout Southeastern Wisconsin or selling them to other people who used the bills.
Outlined in the complaints against them are times when the men, or people who purchased the money from them, including confidential sources, used the bills at Walmart and Shopko in Sheboygan; Walmart in Germantown; McDonald's in Menomonee Falls; Target stores in Greenfield, Milwaukee and West Milwaukee; Kohl's in Brown Deer; Petsmart in Grafton, McDonald's in Belgium; and to purchase a vehicle in Hales Corners.
the Menomonee Falls Police Department helped put an end to a counterfeit cash case and brought closure for another department through the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network (WCAN).
WCAN is an electronic notification system that connects police departments, residents and businesses across the state. It allows local police departments to share information quickly, and remain connected.
When Falls arrested a suspect for passing a $100 counterfeit bill at a local fast food establishment, officers put an alert out on WCAN with a suspect description, which included a gold tooth. When the Manitowoc Police Department received the notification, they determined the man in custody fit the description of a suspect they were searching for who was involved in two similar counterfeit cases.