OCEAN CITY — Two local men this week were arrested and charged with counterfeiting two weeks after the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) warned residents, business owners and employees about a rash of case of phony money being passed in and around the resort area.
Around April 2, police began receiving numerous calls and complaints about counterfeit money in $10 and $20 denominations being passed in the resort and began an investigation. During a 36-hour time period, the OCPD took a total of five reports of counterfeit money being passed or attempted to be passed.
During the investigation, OCPD officers and detectives worked with allied law enforcement agencies in Worcester and Wicomico Counties, along with Sussex County in Delaware after agencies in those jurisdictions were also investigating a rash of counterfeiting. OCPD detectives were able to identify two possible suspects from their collaboration with other agencies.
On April 5, a suspect identified as Derrick Ryan Richardson, 25, of Parsonsburg, and a female accomplice were arrested by the Fruitland Police Department while attempting to pass counterfeit money at a local business. With the recovery of additional evidence and surveillance video, Ocean City Police detectives were able to positively identify Richardson as one of the suspects in the Ocean City counterfeit cases. OCPD detectives were also able to identify a second suspect in the resort cases as Justin Michael Scanlon, 26, of Ocean City.
Richardson and Scanlon were arrested this week and charged by the Ocean City Police with theft under $100, knowingly issuing counterfeit U.S. currency, theft scheme and conspiracy. Richardson was also charged with manufacturing counterfeit U.S. currency.
Meanwhile, police are encouraging citizens to closely examine currency by looking carefully at the money they receive.
Citizens should be aware of the security features located on currency. The three main security features located on bills include shifting inks on the dollar amount located on the face side in the bottom right corner; security threads, which display the denomination of the currency imbedded in the bill; and the watermark located on the face of the bill on the right side.