AG: Four passed $16K in counterfeit bills to Parx, other casinos

Christopher Dornblaser

| Bucks County Courier Times

Four people are accused of passing thousands of dollars in counterfeit bills to area casinos, including Parx Casino in Bensalem, last year, according to authorities.

On Tuesday, the Attorney General’s Office filed charges alleging Philadelphia residents Kiara Kristin Purnell, Mahagany White, Marcus Davis and Nieem Johnson, passed the bills in April 2019.

White, 33, and Davis, 44, are charged with forgery, theft by deception, and conspiracy to commit those offenses, all of which are felonies, as well as a misdemeanor of possessing an instrument of crime.

Purnell, 31, and Johnson, 37, who have not been arraigned on the offenses, face the same charges.

Johnson currently is in a Philadelphia prison on 10% of $65,000 bail, according to court records. Those records state he was charged with drug possession last month in Philadelphia.

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The AG’s office said a warrant has been issued for Purnell’s arrest.

Authorities said $16,000 in counterfeit bills were used in area casinos by the four.

The investigation started after 18 counterfeit $100 bills were used at Rivers Casino Philadelphia on April 7 and April 8, 2019, according to court documents.

Surveillance footage showed Purnell and White using the bills at blackjack tables, the AG’s office said.

Investigators found that 25 counterfeit $100 bills were used at Parx Casino on April 7, 2019, as well, charging documents allege.

They were the same bills used at the Rivers Casino Philadelphia that weekend, officials said.

Johnson and an unknown woman were seen using the bills there, according to court documents.

The counterfeit bills were also seen being used at Harrah’s Casino in Chester, Valley Forge Casino in King of Prussia, and the Wind Creek Casino in Bethlehem that month, the AG’s office said.

Johnson tried to use counterfeit bills at the Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City that month as well, but was caught by a black jack dealer who was suspicious of the bills, charging documents state.

The AG’s office said the four used area casinos to pass counterfeit bills and launder their proceeds.

White and Johnson remain in Bucks County Prison in lieu of 10% of $100,000 bail.

Their preliminary hearings are tentatively scheduled for Dec. 30.

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