His nickname is “Dollarz” and he and an accomplice are accused of passing more than $30,000 in counterfeit currency at national chain stores throughout the state, including two in Newington, CT.
Kamarv Whetstone, 28, of Bronx, NY – who calls himself “Dollarz” on his Facebook page – and Tabari Bailey, 27, also of Bronx, face dozens of counts of first-degree forgery and other charges in the case.
Special Agent Tim Conway of the U.S Secret Service, which investigates counterfeiting, said that state prosecutors are handling the case and referred questions to them.
Whetstone and Bailey used laser printers and scanners to copy real $20 bills, according to arrest affidavits. They then mixed the bogus bills with real currency to buy high-end clothing and electronics, such as iPads and Beats headphones, at Walmart, Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond and other retailers, affidavits say.
The items would then be returned for cash at another store location in Connecticut or New York state, sometimes within hours of their purchase, court papers say.
The pair sometimes hit more than one store a day, according to affidavits. In at least one instance, they returned items bought at another location as they purchased new items, the affidavits say.
The spree, during which the two defrauded or attempted to defraud stores in at least eight towns, including South Windsor and Farmington, began in late March, court papers say. It ended on April 21 when Avon police caught Whetstone and Bailey after they unsuccessfully tried to use bogus bills to buy an iPod at a local Walmart, court records say.
Avon officers found about $800 in counterfeit currency hidden in the vehicle’s dashboard and between the passenger seat and center console, according to a police report. Police also found numerous receipts, and the car’s backseat was filled with Walmart bags containing merchandise, the report says.
Arrested with the pair that day was Kia Bailey, 28, also of Bronx, who is Tabari Bailey’s sister and Whetstone’s girlfriend, said Assistant State’s Attorney Anthony Spinella.
Kia Bailey pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to commit fourth-degree larceny and was sentenced to nine months in prison, Spinella said. Pending trial, Whetstone is being held on bonds totaling more than $400,000 and Bailey on bonds of more than $150,000
Last week, Newington police joined seven other departments in filing charges against Whetstone and Tabari Bailey.
The pair is accused of passing more than $500 in counterfeit $20 bills on March 28 at Bed, Bath & Beyond and the Designer Shoe Warehouse, according to the arrest affidavit. Items bought at Bed, Bath & Beyond were returned for cash less than six hours later at the chain’s Mount Vernon, NY, store, the affidavit says.
In addition, Tabari Bailey and Whetstone passed bogus bills in Groton, Waterford, Guilford and Brookfield, affidavits charge. Spinella said he is not expecting additional charges at this point.
Last year, Whetstone was arrested for passing counterfeit money in New Jersey, according to court papers.
The cases have been consolidated at Superior Court in Hartford. Whetstone is due back in court on October 31, 2014 and Tabari Bailey on October 27, 2014.