LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire – Five people, including a man who admitted being the printer, have been arrested in relation to a counterfeit currency operation that used inkjet and laser printers to produce millions of dollars in bogus $100 and $20 federal reserve notes.
Capping a fast-paced investigation that took off in February when an informant brought information to the Secret Service, four defendants were arrested last Thursday and one other was arrested yesterday afternoon. When a search warrant was executed last week, investigators found “a full-scale counterfeit currency manufacturing plant,” according to an affidavit that quotes the printer as saying he made approximately $5 million to $6 million in counterfeit bills over the past two years.
Those taken into custody last week are:
Albert Edward Talton, 44, of Lawndale, who is accused of being the main printer of the counterfeit money;
David Goldberg, 35, of Sherman Oaks, who allegedly cut the counterfeit bills and glued them together;
Paul Tracy McCorry, 45, of West Covina, who allegedly acted as a broker of the money and assisted in printing the money, and;
Troy Rustill Stroud, 41, of Playa Vista, another alleged broker of the counterfeit money.
Talton and Goldberg are charged with counterfeiting federal reserve notes, and McCorry and Stroud are charged with dealing counterfeit securities. These four defendants made initial appearances in United States District Court on Friday, at which time Stroud was ordered detained (held without bond). Yesterday, Goldberg was released on a $70,000 bond. Talton and McCorry have bond hearings scheduled for tomorrow and Thursday, respectively.
The counterfeit notes in this investigation are of particular concern because they have a remarkable passing history and range. The notes are manufactured using inkjet technology and computers, and the Secret Services believes they represent one of the most successfully passed bogus note made with inkjet technology. According to court documents, these notes have been passed successfully throughout the United States, and approximately $6.8 million of these counterfeit notes have been passed or seized to date.
“This is one of the largest, if not the largest, counterfeit currency rings we have seen in Southern California,” said United States Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien. “Through fine investigative work, the Secret Service was able to uncover the perpetrators before even more honest businesses were defrauded by the passing of counterfeit money. Counterfeiting is a very serious crime as it damages our national monetary system, facilitates a host of other crimes and has the potential to compromise our national security.”
A search of Talton’s house last week discovered the counterfeit currency manufacturing plant, as well as nearly a quarter million dollars in completed counterfeit currency and nearly $825,000 in partially completed counterfeit currency.
“This case illustrates the merging of traditional crimes such as counterfeiting with advanced technologies that criminals so often use to commit financial crimes today,” said Ray Maytorena, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service’s Los Angeles Field Office. “Through partnerships, however, law enforcement continues to stay ahead of criminals by combining traditional police techniques with hi-tech investigations.”
Yesterday, the Secret Service arrested Corey Nero, 38, of Hawthorne, on charges of dealing in counterfeit securities are. He is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court this afternoon.
A sixth man charged in the case, Earnest J. Alexander, 40, of Hawthorne, is currently being sought by authorities.
A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in court.
The charges of counterfeiting obligations or securities and dealing in counterfeit securities each carry a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
The investigation into the counterfeit currency ring was conducted by the United States Secret Service, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigations and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison