Five Langston University students are under investigation in connection with a money counterfeiting scheme following a police bust in dorms this week.
The alleged crime ring was operating out of dorm rooms at Langston University where police found (29) counterfeit $100 bills, an embossing machine used to stamp numbers on credit cards, a magnetic strip reader writer, and 410 credit cards with 19 different names in dorm rooms.
The bust came after two men, identified as Dejon Cash and Kendall Copeland, were caught on camera making a purchase at Zach’s Liquor in Guthrie with counterfeit bills.
Other businesses in town were also targeted for passing of the fake bills.
According to police reports, Cash, Copeland, Rodney English, and a fourth person who has not been charged, bought three Playstation 4 gaming systems on August 30 from Walmart with ten fake $100 bills. Surveillance video showed four males getting into a maroon Nissan with silver door handles.
The men later attempted to return one of the consoles for cash with their receipt at the Walmart in Stillwater. The men had counterfeit money in their possession and vehicle and were taken into custody there.
According to court documents, 116 of the credit cards found had Jones-Thomas’ name on them, and 103 had Rebecca Coffer, a fifth suspect’s, name on them.
Police found more than $3,000 in real cash, over 25 pairs of Nike tennis shoes still in the box, seven new pairs of Timberland boots still in the box, a large amount of clothes with tags still attached, a new 55-inch television, scales and a baggie of marijuana.
Court documents state Emmanual Jones-Thomas admitted the room was his, but he said he never stayed there. According to Jones-Thomas, a person from Texas would put stuff in his room and that he received payment to hold the items but didn’t know what they were. He did admit knowing the embossing machine and card reader were in his room.
Charges against Cash, Jones-Thomas, English, Copeland, and Coffer include false making of credit card, to forgery in the second and third degree. Cash, Jones-Thomas, and Coffer were arrested with bond set at $150,000. A warrant has been issued for English and Copeland.
On April 24, a couple attempted to pass a counterfeit $100 bill at the Golden Chick drive through.
The woman driving the vehicle asked the cashier if she was able to break her hundred before reaching into the side panel of her door to retrieve the fake cash.
The cashier on duty noted the bill appeared to be false currency and called for a manager, who took the bill, saying she needed to make change.
Police were notified immediately but were unable to respond before the suspects fled the scene.
According to Golden Chick Manager Lula Manderscheid, the black male and female suspects were driving a maroon Honda Accord with a New Mexico license plate and are believed to be approximately 20-years-old.
This isn’t the first time the restaurant has dealt with fraudulent cash.
“I just want everybody to be aware,” Manderscheid said. “Last year, this happened and we got four of them in one day.”
She now trains all of her employees on how to identify legit currency and requires marking of large bills and manager approval before accepting large bills to ensure the restaurant doesn’t get taken again.