AKRON- Two Akron men have been sentenced for using more than $38,000 in counterfeit bills to buy iPads, Apple watches and other items from Target, Best Buy, and Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Tori Smith, 35, was sentenced to nearly five years in prison last week. Allyn Bell, 32, was sentenced Monday to three years in prison and Robert Peters, 31, also of Akron, is scheduled to be sentenced later this year.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the trio traveled to stores in Ohio, Pennslyvania, and Michigan between April 2017 and April 2018 using counterfeit $100 bills to purchase items they would sometimes return to cash.
Court documents show on April 6, 2017, Bell passed four counterfeit $100 bills to an employee at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Butler, Pennsylvania to purchase items. Then two days later, he went to the Dicks’s Sporting Goods store in Mentor, where he returned the items he purchased for cash.
Authorities said the men made more than 20 such purchases as part of the conspiracy.
“These defendants were part of a ring that passed over $38,000 in counterfeit currency in Northeast Ohio and multiple other states,” said Jonathan E. Schuck, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Secret Service’s Cleveland office. “They used counterfeit money to purchase not only merchandise like electronics and clothes but also paid for gas, food and hotel rooms with counterfeit currency, taking advantage of local businesses. This was a complex case that could not have been solved without assistance from many other local and state police departments.”