More charges filed against Kittanning man accused of counterfeiting
Passing allegedly fake $20 bills at a yard sale run by an experienced bank teller has led to additional charges against a Kittanning man already jailed on counterfeiting, forgery, fraud and numerous other charges.
State police this week charged Gregory Louis Douglas, 40, with felony forgery and misdemeanor theft by deception for using what they said was counterfeit currency at a yard sale run by Amy Miller of Rayburn, who works at Kittanning Citizen’s Bank.
“She deals with money every day,” said Trooper Terry Geibel. “They were counting the money and discovered those $20 bills. After he paid and left, they discovered the money had the exact same serial numbers.”
But it was the look and feel of the money that Miller said made her examine the bills more closely after the man left.
“On money, there are distinctive things to look for,” she said. “There’s a face on the corner of a $20 bill, blue and red fibers … and just the feel of the money, it wasn’t money paper. Compared to other twenties in my bag, it was really white.”
The counterfeit money she found was printed on resume paper, Geibel said.
Two days after Miller’s yard sale, on Aug. 18, Douglas led police on a chase from New Bethlehem to Wayne after being stopped for a traffic violation. A warrant had been issued for Douglas’s arrest Aug. 15 after he failed to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on charges of impersonating a public servant and trespass stemming from incidents in May and June.
Police said they found uncut sheets of counterfeit $20 bills and counterfeiting supplies in the car he abandoned in Wayne when he fled into the woods after the chase. Douglas was arrested the next day at a Washington Township home.
The most recent counterfeiting and theft by deception charges were filed in District Judge James Owen’s court in Kittanning on Monday. Douglas remains in Armstrong County Jail in lieu of $220,000 bail.
Douglas was on federal probation for counterfeiting when arrested. After pleading guilty to the federal charges in 2010, he was sentenced to 33 months in prison and ordered to pay $40,000 in restitution, according to federal court documents. Counterfeit bills allegedly passed by Douglas would likely be out of circulation by now, Geibel said. But he suggests anyone with suspicions about money they receive should contact police.
“Keep an eye on your bills. They can look legit but they’re definitely not,” he said.
Julie E. Martin is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1315 or firstname.lastname@example.org.