- Wednesday December 15th, 2010 :: 10:37 a.m. EST
2 Arrested in Counterfeit Scam
A joint investigation between the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Secret Service resulted in the arrest of two individuals Tuesday afternoon near Bells Ferry Road and Highway 92. A local business owner contacted the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office two weeks ago and reported that two suspects had approached him about laundering large quantities of counterfeit money. The suspects claimed they could provide up to 2 million dollars in counterfeit money in exchange for real currency at a rate of 50 cents on the dollar.
Investigators arranged an undercover meeting Tuesday afternoon between the business owner and the suspects to further discuss the transaction. While monitoring the conversation investigators determined that the suspects were proposing a scam in which the scammers trade white paper for real cash. The scammers explain that when treated with certain chemicals the paper transforms into high quality counterfeit cash. The scammers often demonstrate how it works and give the “would be victim” real cash and explain that it is counterfeit money.
The two suspects, Bidas Tsombeng (a.k.a. Simon Makoko), 36 years old of Woodstock, and Dany Thelineau, 31 years old of France, were both arrested and charged with Conspiracy to Commit Theft and Violation of the Georgia RICO Act. A subsequent search of the suspect’s vehicle resulted in the seizure of $20,000.00 of real US currency hidden in the back seat. The exact incident location and business owner’s name are being withheld for his protection. Both suspects remain in custody at the Cherokee Adult Detention Center. The suspect's bonds have been set at $66,400.00. ICE placed a hold on Thelineau.
Cherokee County Sheriff's Office - GA
498 Chattin Dr
Canton, GA 30115