Felony charges have been filed against two men accused of using fake $100 bills at five businesses in Vernon Hills on Monday, the state’s attorney’s office said.
Filbert A. Elonge, 25, of the 2700 block of South Embers Lane in Arlington Heights, was charged with four felony counts of forgery, and Vernon B. Taylor, 25, of the 6900 block of Cornell Avenue in Chicago, was charged with two felony counts of forgery.
Employees of a business in the 700 block of North Milwaukee Avenue in Vernon Hills called police at 4 p.m. Monday and reported that someone had just tried to make a purchase using a fake $100 bill. Employees also provided police with a description of the suspect’s vehicle.
Vernon Hills police officers spotted the vehicle on Townline Road shortly after the 911 call was received and performed a traffic stop. Officers recovered several receipts inside the vehicle from other transactions Elonge and Taylor had made, and officers went to those businesses and recovered additional fraudulent $100 bills, the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office said.
“Police officers determined through the investigation that Elonge passed fraudulent bills in three different establishments and was still in possession of one fake bill. Taylor passed fraudulent bills in two businesses,” the state’s attorney’s office said in a statement.
“The arrest of two offenders actively engaged in a string of crimes would not have been possible without the public’s help,” Vernon Hills Police Chief Patrick L. Kreis said. “Not only did alert employees identify the suspicious currency, but they called 9-1-1 immediately and provided a vehicle description, enabling a nearby officer to locate the suspects.”
Elonge and Taylor appeared in front of Lake County Associate Judge Paul D. Novak Tuesday morning. Elonge was ordered held on a $30,000 bond and will appear in court again on August 1. Taylor was ordered held on a $20,000 bond and will appear in court again on August 2.
If found guilty, the two men could be sentenced between 2 and 5 years in prison. The U.S. Secret Service also participated in the investigation, authorities said.
“Lake County State’s Attorney Michael G. Nerheim and the Vernon Hills Police Department are warning business owners to carefully check their $100 bills after two men were charged Tuesday trying to pass off fake money at five businesses in Vernon Hills,” the state’s attorney’s office said in the statement.
“Business owners are always urged to carefully inspect money passed to them by the public to ensure counterfeit bills are not circulated. Thankfully, businesses in Vernon Hills that were visited quickly noticed the fraudulent bills and the two individuals involved were quickly apprehended.”
The incident remains under investigation and additional charges could be filed, authorities said.