3 charged in counterfeiting scheme
An Aiea couple used bleached $1 notes and a computer inkjet printer to turn them into $100 bills in their Aiea home, according to the U.S. Secret Service.
Marc Antolin and wife Milani Antolin, both 28, and the woman's younger sister Sherilyn Milan were charged yesterday in a federal complaint with conspiring to produce counterfeit $100, $50 and $20 notes. All three were arrested yesterday at their Uhaloa Street home and made their first appearance in U.S. District Court. Magistrate Judge Kevin Chang approved the appointment of counsel and ordered them to return for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 16.
According to court documents, an unidentified source who had been arrested Sunday for breaking into a car told Honolulu police about counterfeit currency being produced at an Aiea residence.
The source told police of witnessing Antolin and his wife printing counterfeit currency on several occasions in the past year. The source was also present on one occasion when Marc Antolin passed a $100 bill at a Chevron gas station, where the attendant used a counterfeit detection pen to determine if it was genuine. The bill was not detected as counterfeit.
The source said the couple would bleach genuine $1 notes and imprint the image of higher denominations on the blanks. A hair-straightening iron was used to stiffen the note.
A few months earlier on May 27, Honolulu police arrested Milan for passing a bogus $100 bill at Radio Shack in Nuuanu.
"The note was determined to be a genuine, bleached $1 note overprinted as a $100 note with a computer inkjet printer," Special Agent Scott Cary Riddick, assigned to the U.S. Secret Service in Honolulu, wrote in an affidavit.
Milan said she got the counterfeit bill from her sister, Milani Antolin.
A search of the residence yesterday morning led to the recovery of a counterfeit $100 bill on Milani Antolin and a counterfeit $50 bill in the living room. Also found were counterfeit notes in the Antolins' bedroom and in Milan's room.
Agents also recovered two cans of liquid and a container with black residue that appeared to be genuine currency ink in the bedroom.
The Antolins, who have three children, sat at opposite ends of the jury box yesterday. Milani Antolin sobbed quietly during the proceeding as her sister, sitting several seats away, whispered to her. All three were released to the supervision of the sisters' mother, who also lives at the Aiea home.
Conditions of their release included posting a $25,000 unsecured bond. If convicted of conspiracy, each faces 20 years in federal prison. Attorneys for the Antolins and Milan declined comment.