A California man accused of forgery is facing charges in U.S. District Court.

Bill Blanchard, 53, was arrested in Laramie on June 19, after the Laramie Police and the United States Secret Service investigated reports of counterfeit bills being used in a number of different Laramie businesses.

A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court says the investigation began when a Laramie Police officer responded to a report of a counterfeit $20 bill being used at the Goodwill in Laramie. The officer spoke with an employee who said that a man, later identified as Blanchard, used a $20 bill in the store. The employee said they went to the back office and marked the bill with a counterfeit detection pen, which indicated the bill was counterfeit. When the employee returned to the front counter, Blanchard had disappeared.

On June 14, a Laramie Police officer responded to another report of counterfeit currency, also $20 bills, at Wyoming Downs. The employee at Wyoming Downs told the officer that two women had used the counterfeit currency at the business.

The officer was able to find an address for one of the women, whom he knew to be on adult supervised probation. The officer responded to the address - which was at a local motel - and learned that the two women, who were mother and daughter, were sharing a room with Blanchard but had checked out. The officer learned that the three were driving black Toyota SUV. The manager of the hotel was able to provide the officer with a photocopy of Blanchard’s I.D and vehicle registration. The manager said Blanchard had paid for the room with three $20 bills, which the manager later learned were counterfeit, according to the complaint.

Blanchard was arrested on June 19, after Laramie Police officers noticed a black Toyota SUV with a California license plate parked in the parking lot of a local hotel. The officers spoke with the manager of the hotel, who told them one of the rooms was being rented by Blanchard. The officers went to the room and knocked on the door several times. Blanchard answered and officers questioned him about the counterfeit bills. Blanchard initially denied involvement but after further questioning, he admitted to passing the counterfeit bill at Goodwill. Blanchard said the two women were not involved, court documents state.

Officers obtained a search warrant for Blanchard’s room and seized numerous items, including a copier/scanner/printer, three real $20 bills on the glass of the scanner, paper cutters and resume paper, 30 counterfeit $20 bills and 28 counterfeit $50 dollar bills.

Blanchard was released from the Albany County Detention Center to the U.S. Secret Service. A trial date has not been set.


More From KOWB 1290