Counterfeit bills lead to arrests

What Cheer, Iowa- An ongoing investigation relating to the passing of counterfeit bills in Keokuk County has led to an arrest. Stephanie Shilling, 30, of What Cheer, was arrested on January 3 and charged with seven counts of forgery, all of which are Class D Felonies.

The investigation into Shilling goes back to a series of fake $100 bills that began to circulate the community. According to a search warrant from July 2018, one bill was discovered at Caseys, in What Cheer, after an employee verified a $100 bill handed to her by a female customer.

“[The clerk] marked the bill and it did not pass so she handed it back. The female took the bill back and left the store, leaving the merchandise on the counter,” writes Chief Deputy Adam Pence in a search warrant application.

Pence later writes in the application that the day after the woman attempted to use the bill at Caseys in What Cheer, the Sigourney Pizza Ranch contacted the Keokuk County Sheriff’s Office in reference to a bill they had received on a delivery. The money was discovered as they attempted to make a deposit at their financial institution.

“[The manager] stated an Alex called in last night (July 13) and ordered food and requested delivery to her… [The] delivery drive for Pizza Ranch told me he delivered the food and witness the person know to be Alex hand the $100 bill to a small child, who handed the bill to [the driver],” states the warrant application. “It should also be noted that the counterfeit $100 bill was the only $100 bill in that deposit batch from Pizza Ranch,” the warrant application also states.

The search warrant was approved and executed on July 18, 2018. The search showed seven suspicious bills, with the same serial number and “pink Chinese writing” similar to that of the bill received at the Pizza Ranch. They were later confirmed to be counterfeit bills.


For more on this story and others, catch the February 13 edition of the News-Review.