Four Women Arrested for Allegedly Passing Counterfeit Money
A three-week investigation into counterfeit money, in casinos, has resulted in the arrest of four women.
Monday, December 1st 2014, 3:20 pm PST by
Monday, December 8th 2014, 3:26 pm PST
Four Venezuelan women have been arrested, after an investigation involving counterfeit $100 bills, in Reno casinos. Reno detectives say Melissa Gutierrez, Evelin Gutierrez, Livia Cedeno, and Adriana Jordan each face numerous forgery-related and burglary charges. Jordan is charged with 81 counts and her bail is set at $400,000.
The Reno Police Department Financial Crimes Division teamed up with the U.S. Secret Service and the Northern Nevada Fraud and Identity Theft Task Force to investigate an influx of counterfeit money in the casinos. One of the women was a dealer at a Reno casino and investigators say the other three suspects would exchange $100 bills for game chips, at her table. Then they would cash the chips in for real money. Detectives are still looking into how much money was exchanged.
"It's huge," Officer Tim Broadway, Reno Police Department said. "Just the shear amount when you're dealing with $100 bills, that are counterfeit, it all adds up quite quickly."
Broadway says that since these are felony charges, the women could face prison time. Since three of them are citizens of Venezuela, he says Immigration and Naturalization Services could also get involved.
Detectives say this type of crime tends to spike during the holiday shopping season. Reno sometimes see more counterfeit money because so much cash passes through the casinos. Broadway says this is not a victimless crime. Businesses and consumers both could be affected because the last one holding the bill often gets stuck with it.
"It does hit the retailers in the pocket, and the retailers," Broadway said. "With counterfeit money, you're getting merchandise for that. That is stealing. So, everybody pays when people are out there exchanging counterfeit bills."
Melissa Gutierrez was booked on 11 counts of possession/receiving forged bills, 1 count of intent to utter a fictitious bill and 1 count of burglary.
Gutierrez-Cedeno was booked on 4 counts of possession/receiving forged bills, 1 count of intent to utter a fictitious bill and 1 count of burglary.
Cedeno was booked on 12 counts of possession/receiving forged bills, 1 count of intent to utter a fictitious bill and 1 count of burglary.
Jordan was booked on 40 counts of possession/receiving forged bills, 39 counts of intent to utter fictitious bills and 1 count of burglary.
If you have any information on this case, call Reno Police Department Burglary Division at 775-334-2144 or Secret Witness at 775-322-4900 or text your tip to 847411 or go online to
. Your information will remain anonymous and you could be eligible for a reward.