A Queens man has been arrested on felony forgery charges after Suffolk County police said he used counterfeit $100 bills to buy merchandise at more than a dozen small businesses in the eastern part of the county.
The investigation is ongoing and the county police are being assisted by their counterparts in East Hampton Town and Village, Southampton Town and Village, Westhampton Beach, and other jurisdictions.
Nicolas Munoz, 22, was charged on Friday evening with 11 counts of firstdegree criminal possession of a forged instrument. County police said he used the fake Franklins at Aby’s Deli & Catering in East Moriches and the Tipsy Duck Wine Co. in Eastport on Sept. 1, Deli Delight in East Quogue on Sept. 7, and at least 10 other restaurants and shops in Sayville, Southampton, and Bellport between Aug. 31 and Sept. 17.
Mr. Munoz was said to have been driving a blue 2002 Honda CRV at the time of the alleged incidents. Early Friday afternoon, in East Hampton Village, the manager of Buckley’s Flower Shop on Montauk Highway called the police after a “male in his 20s” paid for a $15.19 bag of potting soil with a $100 bill, then left the store in a Honda. Asked this week for confirmation on whether Mr. Munoz had visited Buckley’s, the County District Attorney’s Office declined to comment.
“This was an extensive investigation by all agencies working together to halt this crime spree that was occurring throughout Suffolk County,” the Southampton Town Police Department said in a statement on Tuesday.
Seventh Precinct detectives from the county police department are still looking into the counterfeiting incidents. Anyone with information on the case can contact the precinct at 631-852-8752.