FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kenner company finds counterfeit cash, phony credit cards in repossessed car
A New Orleans man was arrested after the Kenner company that repossessed his car discovered stacks of counterfeit cash inside, authorities said. Bryan McMillian's 2010 Nissan Altima also contained credit cards encoded with stolen numbers and a counterfeit business check, said Sgt. Brian McGregor, spokesman for the Kenner Police.
The unidentified company repossessed McMillian's car on Monday (Feb. 24) at the 43-year-old's New Orleans home, 8051 Curran Blvd., McGregor said. The recovery company discovered the criminal cache once they got the vehicle back to their Kenner headquarters and conducted an inventory.
Workers found what appeared to be a stack of $100 bills wrapped with a band labeled "$10,000," McGregor said. But after a closer look, authorities determined only the top and bottom bills in each stack were $100s. The rest was blank paper.
After further scrutiny, investigators discovered those $100 bills were actually fakes, McGregor said.
Authorities also found two counterfeit credit cards that had been illegally encoded with stolen numbers. Police tracked the numbers to two out-of-state victims who reported that someone had used the credit card information to make fraudulent purchases, an arrest report said.
McMillian's car also contained a machine used to create credit cards, McGregor said. The device can take stolen numbers and encode them onto new cards.
In addition to the fake cash and credit cards, police found a counterfeit payroll check from a Texas company, according to authorities. Investigators have not yet been able to verify whether the company exists, McGregor said.
Police arrested McMillian in Kenner on Monday afternoon as he attempted to retrieve his property from the repossession company. He was booked at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in Gretna with forgery, two counts of monetary instrument abuse, identity theft and access device fraud.
Kenner Police are handling the case in conjunction with the U.S. Secret Service, which is tasked with investigating white-collar crimes, including counterfeit money and credit card fraud.
"A lot of people are not aware that we do more than just protection for president and vice president," said Anthony Bynum, special agent in charge of the Secret Service's New Orleans division. "We are the nation's protection for the monetary supply."
The Secret Service keeps a record of all counterfeit notes passed in the region. The serial numbers on the $100 bills recovered from McMillian's car match numbers recorded from previously seized counterfeit bills, according to authorities.
"The bills had a history of being passed in this area," Bynum said. "It doesn't mean that he (McMillian) passed them or anybody associated with him. It could be someone altogether different."
Bynum could not comment further on the case because it is still under investigation. But he said the New Orleans area does not have a big problem with counterfeit cash.
Investigators can't say for sure what purpose the $10,000 stack of bills was intended for. "You could use it for any number of crimes," said McGregor, who ticked off a short list including defrauding merchants or committing a scam to dupe a citizen out of their own cash.
McMillian was released Wednesday (Feb. 26) from the correctional center on a $75,000 bond. He is a registered sex offender with convictions in Orleans Parish for simple kidnapping, indecent behavior with a juvenile and carnal knowledge of a juvenile, according to state records.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Kenner Police Department at 504.712.2222. Citizens with information about the counterfeit cash involved in this case or any other can also contact the U.S. Secret Service by calling 504.841.3260.
For more information about spotting counterfeit money, visit the Secret Service's "Know Your Money" website or the U.S. Treasury Department's website detailing the new changes to the $100 bill.