Three charged in phony money scheme in O.B.


Staff Writer

OLD BRIDGE — The buck stopped last week for three Old Bridge High School students accused of crimes related to counterfeit money.

Police said the department had been receiving complaints for a week about fake $20 bills being used at local businesses and convenience stores. A few of the bills even wound up at township offices, police said, and similar complaints were heard in Aberdeen and Matawan.

Brian Maher, 18, the son of Township Councilman Dennis Maher, was arrested Friday after allegedly attempting to exchange two of the fake $20s for real bills at Oasis Ford, where he works. He exchanged the bills for four $10s, police said, and another employee noticed that they were not real.

Police said the suspect has been cooperative, and reportedly told police he had received the fake money from someone at school, and that he knew it was counterfeit.

He was charged with theft by deception and uttering of a forged instrument. Both are state offenses. He is now free on bail, police said.

Over the weekend, two other arrests were made, police said. Both arrests were of juveniles who attend the township high school.

Those arrested in connection with the forgery could face federal counterfeiting charges, police said.

According to police, one of the two arrested was making the fake bills at home on a computer. And, police said, they were good fakes.

The counterfeit bills were turned over to the U.S. Secret Service as evidence. The Secret Service’s primary role, police noted, is acting as police for the U.S. Treasury.

The investigation is continuing with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office involved, as well as the Secret Service and Old Bridge police.