Santaquin man arrested after allegedly using counterfeit bills

Sandy Van Smith. Photo Courtesy: Utah County Jail

SANTAQUIN, Utah, Jan. 14, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A Santaquin man was arrested Wednesday after allegedly using counterfeit bills in numerous locations.

A probable cause statement from Utah County said Sandy Van Smith, 40, is facing four counts of money laundering, second-degree felonies, as well as 16 counts of forgery, three counts of theft by deception and one count of possession of forgery devices, all third-degree felonies.

On the Dec. 6 and 9, 2019, a male suspect went into the Walmart in Pleasant Grove where he allegedly purchased a Walmart pre-paid card with fraudulent bills, the statement said.

“Walmart Loss Prevention later reported the incident to Pleasant Grove Police Department and provided them with surveillance video and photographs of the suspect and incident along with the counterfeit $50 and $100 bills,” the statement said.

On Jan. 7, the arresting officer received information from detectives at Saratoga Springs and Provo Police Department which helped identify Smith as the alleged suspect.

Provo detectives advised that a male suspect with the matching physical description of the suspect in Pleasant Grove had also tried to pass counterfeit money in both Provo and Orem, while attempting to purchase pre-paid gift cards in the same way.

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While attempting to purchase a pre-paid gift card in Orem, the male suspect was required to provide an ID. He provided a Utah ID for Sandy Smith with date of birth listed as 12/17/1979. The same male suspect was also seen in Provo trying to purchase a gift card at which time he was required to provide his date of birth which he advised was 12/17/1979.

Using Smith’s Utah driver’s license photograph, the Pleasant Grove arresting officer identified the male suspect from the Walmart incident as Smith. “I was also able to positively identify that the serial numbers on our counterfeit bills matched those of the bills from the Saratoga Springs case,” the statement said.

Smith was transported to Utah County Jail with his bail set at $50,000.

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