Duson Police have arrested a Youngsville man and accused him of making fake $100 bills and using them.
Stephen Young, 29, was first booked on December 11, said Duson Chief Kip Judice.
Young was accused of using the fake bills at two locations in Duson, and he was arrested via a traffic stop. They found one of the fake bills, as well as a printer, solvents, tools and printer cartridges in his car, Judice said. Officers recognized the tools as those commonly used by people making fake money, Judice said.
“He came to buy Christmas products and when he came to pay me I found out the money was fake,” said Christopher Prejean, a vendor at the Jocky Lot who realized the man trying to buy his products was using fake bills. “This one when you looked at it it was faded.”
The Jocky Lot is one several businesses across Acadiana that was hit by Young’s fakes.
Luckily for Prejean he noticed it was fake before the purchase was made.
“It would’ve had to come out of my pay. Because when you’re selling products at a flea market, you’re trying to live off the products that you’re trying to sell to pay your bills and get everything done. You lose out on products that you can’t get back or put back in your stock because you don’t have the money to do it,” he said.
Through interviews of associates it has since been determined that Young allegedly was reproducing money on paper of lesser denominations by using a solvent to clear the ink deposited by the Treasury Department and overlaying the $100 note onto that paper. This method defeats detection of counterfeit bills commonly used by most retail outlets which is counterfeit pen test, bills printed on paper manufactured by the Treasury will mark as a legitimate note despite the denomination. Other identifiers of counterfeit money should be used by retailers, Judice said.
Young was booked into the Acadia Parish jail with monetary instrument abuse. Young posted a $25,000 bond and was released, but then officers learned that, while he was in the back seat of a Duson Police car, he allegedly removed several more fake $100 bills that he had hidden on him, and left them in the back of the car, Judice said.
He was arrested again, and booked with one count of monetary instrument abuse for each bill, for a grand total of seven counts. Additionally, he was booked with one count obstruction of justice. No bond has been set on the most recent charges, and Young remains in the parish jail today.
If convicted on one count of monetary instrument abuse, Young faces a mandatory minimum fine of $5,000 – with a possible maximum fine of $1 million, along with a mandatory minimum prison sentence of six months with a possible maximum of 10 years. He also can be ordered to pay restitution.
It has also been determined that countless victims have yet to be identified in this case in multiple jurisdictions in Acadiana.
The serial numbers associated with Young’s alleged operation are:
There may be additional serial numbers associated with Young as well other denominations reproduced.
Any businesses or people who believe they may have been victim to Young or any counterfeit scam are encouraged to contact their local law enforcement agency as the Duson Police is working with numerous agencies to identify all of the victims.
Judice said his officers stopped a criminal in his tracks with this investigation.
“Duson Police Officers have certainly made a difference in this investigation, they have prevented Stephen Young from circulating many more counterfeit bills through their tenacity, and a work ethic deserving of the public trust, I am pleased with their performance,” Judice said.
Here is a more in depth look at how to check different bills for legitimacy from the Secret Service.
Young has three pending cases against him in Lafayette, court records show. The records also show several alias for him.
He is due in court tomorrow for a hearing in a case in which he pleaded guilty to stealing when he already had two theft convictions in 2011 and 2012. Because he has two prior theft convictions, his possible sentence is increased to two years in prison.
In February, he is due in court for a hearing for a bill of information that accuses him of possession of drug paraphernalia and trespassing in September.
And, in March he’s due in court for a hearing on a bill of information accusing him of resisting an officer, also in September.
In addition to the 2011 and 2012 theft convictions, he also has prior convictions for theft in 2013, for theft in 2017 and for domestic abuse battery in 2017, Lafayette court records show.