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Rash of counterfeit cash incidents may be tied to Orange County operation

July 2, 2011 |  8:59 am

Laguna Beach police said they discovered a counterfeit money operation this week after arresting four people for allegedly passing fake cash at a Mobil gas station.

Police said it appeared that the operation used a high-quality printer and paper that looked like worn newsprint. They attempted to use the currency at mom-and-pop shops and fast food restaurants, according to the Coastline Pilot.

The U.S. Secret Service said there have "been a rash of these bills being passed in Orange and L.A. counties," according to a press release.

Rosa Mojica, 63, Tania Santoya, 33, Roberto Jose Rodriguez, 33, and a 16-year-old boy were all arrested Thursday for burglary, conspiracy to commit a crime, possession of fraudulent items and counterfeiting. All four are from Santa Ana.

A station employee told police that two men tried to use counterfeit money Wednesday evening. He noticed something was wrong and confronted them, but they fled in a 1996 Chevy Camaro. The attendant was able to get a partial license plate number.

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--Joanna Clay, Times Community News

Photo: The cash seized by Laguna Beach police. Credit: Times Community News.

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