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Colonie police investigate phony funds

Colonie police are still investigating the source of counterfeit money used to purchase gift cards at Wal-Mart on two separate occasions.

Shareef J. Goddard, 25, and Antoinette J. Midyette, 35, were arrested for allegedly using counterfeit bills on Wednesday, Dec. 16 and Tuesday, Dec. 22, according to police reports.

Goddard, of Troy, was arrested on charges of two acts of criminal possession of a forged instrument and grand larceny, both felonies, and a misdemeanor charge of petit larceny. Midyette, of Brooklyn, was charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument and attempted grand larceny, a misdemeanor.

We have experienced a significant increase in counterfeit [activity] in the last three months, said Lt. Robert Winn of the Colonie Police Department.

Winn said a number of businesses and banks have reported instances where counterfeit money was used, but Winn said police are still investigating many of those occurrences.

Goddard and Midyette were arrested after a joint investigation by the Colonie Police Department, United States Secret Service and the Troy Police Department.

"These arrests stem from the report of counterfeit currency being used at the Wal-Mart, Latham Farms 579 Troy-Schenectady Road," according to information by the Colonie Police Department.

After police were notified of the counterfeit money at the Latham Farm's retailer on Dec. 16 to buy American Express Gift Cards, Colonie police and the United States Secret Service assigned agents for surveillance at the same Wal-Mart on Dec. 22.

According to information from Colonie police, the two defendants returned for another attempt to purchase "large quantities of American Express Gift Cards with the counterfeit currency. Winn said one transaction was permitted to go through, and then the arrests were made.

As a result of the investigation more than $5000 in counterfeit money was recovered.

A search warrant was then executed in Troy, and another $110 was found. The bills were $10 and $20 and "utilized several different repeating serial numbers," the report states. "The origin of these bills is still under investigation and further arrests may be made, however no further charges are pending at this time."

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