Two people are accused of counterfeiting U.S. currency in separate investigations, according to officials.
A Cape Coral police detective assigned to the U.S. Secret Service Task Force was investigating Jerome Raymond Rillera, 59, of 1925 S.W. Santa Barbara Place, for counterfeiting bills. Detectives from the CCPD and the U.S. Secret Service executed a search warrant on Rillera's apartment Wednesday and seized counterfeit $10 and $20 bills, as well as computer equipment reportedly used to make the bogus cash.
Rillera was arrested and charged with counterfeiting and uttering counterfeited federal reserve note.
Bryant D. Lipps
Rillera has been passing fake bills at area businesses for the past few months, officials said.
In a separate case, Cape police arrested and charged Bryant D. Lipps, 28, of 4623 S.W. 17th Ave., with possession of 10 or more counterfeit bills, driving while license suspended Tuesday night.
According to officials, officers pulled over Lipps for a traffic violation and discovered an outstanding warrant. A subsequent search revealed that Lipps was in possession of the phony cash. Detectives responded to the scene.
Lipps reportedly confessed to his counterfeit operation and a search warrant was served on his home. Detectives recovered counterfeit bills, as well as computer equipment reportedly used to produce the bills.
As of Wednesday, Lipps remained at the Lee County Jail on $22,000 bond.
No current information was available for Rillera.
If any local businesses suspect that they have received counterfeit bills, they are encouraged to contact police.
The U.S. Secret Service offers information on counterfeiting at: www.secretservice.gov/money_detect.shtml.
"Our partnership with the U.S. Secret Service has netted some major arrests this year, from the auto insurance fraud investigation to this counterfeiting operation," Capt. David Newlan, with the CCPD's Detective Bureau, said. "It has also led to advanced training for our officers on the street, which enabled them to recognize the counterfeit bills and turn a traffic stop into a major case."