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Feds crack counterfeiting case after Angola raid

– A 47-year-old man faces multiple counterfeiting charges after fake money showed up around Angola this year.

When investigators searched an Angola apartment where Scot D. Silvers was staying, they found, among other items, multiple printers, linen business paper, a manual embossing machine, a credit card-making machine and 17 sheets of paper with copies of various bills.

And according to federal court documents, when tactical officers entered the apartment Oct. 21, they saw him sitting at a table, printing counterfeit money.

Silvers is charged in a federal criminal complaint with using counterfeit “access devices” or credit cards, counterfeiting, passing counterfeit money and possessing “device-making equipment” – all of which affects interstate commerce.

The investigation began, court documents said, when a woman was seen at an Angola Walmart trying to buy a gift card with phony $10 bills. An Angola police officer remembered hearing a tip about a fugitive from California making counterfeit money at a North Cross Street apartment where he was staying.

The officer drove to the apartment and saw a vehicle matching the car from which the woman got out at the Walmart store, according to court documents.

The woman who lived at the apartment told Angola detectives she picked Silvers up from a Fort Wayne hotel earlier in October and let him stay with her. She said he made the counterfeit money out of her living room, and she noticed mail sent to the apartment in other people’s names.

According to court documents, Silvers was also in possession of birth certificates for other people, drivers’ licenses for other people and credit cards.

Police and U.S. Secret Service agents found a journal at the apartment where Silvers apparently jotted down what phony credit cards he had that worked successfully, which ones did not and how happy he was with his new manual embosser.

“It’s a beautiful thing but now I have to carry it, so I must get a bag with wheels,” he wrote in his journal, according to court documents.

One person from California told investigators he knew Silvers through mutual friends and was told that Silvers could help him with his 2011 taxes.

The man said he gave Silvers his Social Security number, driver’s license number and date of birth, according to court documents.

rgreen@jg.net

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