After a string of counterfeit currency hit the streets of Fallon two weeks ago, the urge to inform the business community became a priority.
Fallon Police Capt. Vern Ulrich said aclass was in the early stages of production, but when the FPD arrested two men — the third was arrested last week in Reno — the timetable could not be delayed.
“We were interested in putting a class together to meet the needs of the community,” Ulrich said. “When we had the (suspected) counterfeiters target our community we wanted to offer something for the business community to help better protect themselves.”
The class, which will be run by a supervisor with the U.S. Secret Service, is Friday from noon-2 p.m. at the Old Post Office, 90 N. Maine St. Although lunch will be provided, seating is limited.
Several businesses were hit in the Plaza Valley, with at least 11 in total in the city. In addition, the suspected counterfeiters also passed their fake bills in Fernley, Reno and Sparks.
Ulrich contacted the Fallon Chamber of Commerce and Churchill Economic Development Authority to spread the word. Ulrich would like to see as many businesses represented as possible, and if the class gains a wait list, possibly organize another seminar at a later date.
The guest speaker, who is a 22-year veteran of the Secret Service, will review security tips and feel of the bills. The Secret Service is a branch of the U.S. Treasury Department and covers counterfeiters along with protecting politicians.
“The class includes a combination of lecture and slideshow, a question and answer period and practical examples of currency they have seized,” Ulrich said. “There will be tips the businesses can use to identify currency before they accept it.”
Another reason Ulrich sped up the timeline was due to the risk put on businesses by counterfeiters. He said those stores that accept the cash will not be reimbursed unless by court-ordered restitutions, even though that option may not fully cover the total loss suffered by a business.
“If there’s a significant amount of money, it could certainly have an impact on our business community,” Ulrich said. “We would like them to have the knowledge that can assist them in that effort.”
The three men arrested — Brian Shoemaker, Christopher Shoemaker and Daniel Winters — are currently in custody in the Churchill County Jail. Christopher Shoemaker is faces 14 felony charges and is a convicted sex offender, according to the Nevada Department of Public Safety.
Shoemaker was convicted in 2004 in San Luis Obispo County (Calif.) Superior Court of sexual penetration with a foreign object with a victim under 18.
According to court records and documents, the three men used $50 and $20 bills to purchase goods and services from several Fallon shops on Jan. 27.
Christopher Shoemaker and Winters were both arrested the same day after FPD received numerous calls about the suspected fake bills.
“I know there’s an interest from our business community because of some of the questions that were asked after the counterfeiters were arrested,” Ulrich said.