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FPD Detectives take counterfeit money off the streets...and the guy who made it

A routine probation check by detectives in the Fullerton Police Department’s Directed Enforcement Unit led to the discovery of $2,000 in counterfeit bills.

While the probationer wasn’t in the house at the time of the surprise visit, two males and a female were, said Det. Mike Greene, lead investigator on the case.

One of those men was Gerald Allen Neel, 51, who also happened to be on probation.

When searching the house, detectives discovered items used to manufacture counterfeit bills, Greene said, including a printer used to print the bills and liquid used to wash the bills.

Greene then searched Neel’s car and found phony $100 dollar bills totaling $2,000.

“(There are indications) he has (sold) the $100 bills to people and they have used them successfully,” Greene said.

On Oct. 18, Neel pled guilty to Forgery of Public or Corporate Seals, Making/Possessing Fictitious Instruments and Possessing Counterfeit Equipment.

He was sentenced to 270 days in county jail, three years of formal probation and ordered to make restitution.

Phony $100 bills are typically used at a store to purchase an item that may cost less than $5, with $95 in legitimate money then given as change, Greene said.

“It’s the businesses that are often the real victims,” Greene said.

Cases involving counterfeiting are turned over to the U.S. Secret Service for further investigation, Greene said.