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Police: Man tried to use counterfeit $100 bills at Morongo Casino

January 27, 2012 |  1:09 pm

Slot machine at Morongo Casino
A North Hollywood man was arrested Thursday after allegedly trying to pass counterfeit $100 bills at a high-stakes blackjack table at the Morongo Casino in Riverside County, authorities said.

Movses Dermishyan, 22, initially told a deputy with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department that he had only five $100 bills, but the deputy found an additional $2,100 in allegedly forged bills during a search, according to a statement released by the Sheriff’s Department.

Security officials at the Cabazon casino called the Sheriff’s Department about 4:25 p.m. after a casino employee noticed that four of the five $100 bills Dermishyan attempted to pass had the same serial number, authorities said.

Investigators with the U.S. Secret Service determined the counterfeit bills were manufactured in Simi Valley and the San Fernando Valley, and may be tied to a large Armenian counterfeit ring currently operating in the Los Angeles area, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Dermishyan was arrested on suspicion of possession of counterfeit currency, burglary and a parole violation. He was released after posting $5,000 bail.


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-- Phil Willon in Riverside

Photo: Slot machine at Morongo Casino near Palm Springs. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times