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W-B Man Accused In Fake Cash Scheme

February 14, 2018 GMT

A Wilkes-Barre man who swindled $400 from a woman by buying her phone with counterfeit bills tried the same scam a few days later, only this time, the seller was an undercover Old Forge police officer, borough officials said. Najir Jackson, 27, had more than 40 counterfeit $20 bills with him when Officer Eric Williams arrested him Monday, according to a criminal complaint. Jackson bought a Samsung Galaxy S8 from Kelly Rogers on Feb. 8, with 19 counterfeit $20 bills and two fake $10 bills, police said. Rogers advertised the device for sale on the smartphone app Letgo and Jackson responded under the name “Mark Beesley.” Rogers reported the incident to Old Forge police. Williams posted an advertisement and “Mark Beesley” responded. Jackson and Williams arranged to meet in front of a fast food restaurant at 9:15 p.m. Monday to make the exchange, police said. Jackson was almost an hour late. Once he arrived, Williams, in plain clothes, asked Jackson if he was there to buy a phone. Jackson said he was. Williams took out his badge. Jackson started to run and ripped up some counterfeit money along the way, police said. He made it a few blocks before he was caught. Jackson admitted to police that he bought phones with counterfeit money then took them to an acquaintance in Wilkes-Barre, whom Jackson said he saw print money using “some type of machine,” according to the complaint. Williams contacted the U.S. Secret Service and was told they would follow up on the investigation. Jackson is charged with forgery, theft, resisting arrest, tampering with evidence and criminal use of a communication facility. Magisterial District Judge Paul J. Ware arraigned Jackson on Tuesday at the Lackawanna County Prison. He remains there in lieu of $25,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. Feb. 21. — JOSEPH KOHUT