Costa Mesa Counterfeiters Busted

COSTA MESA (Sept. 24, 2008) — Jacques Delia, 43, and Sheila McCarthy, 41, both of Costa Mesa, were arrested Tuesday on suspicin of possession and use of counterfeit documents, commercial burglary, criminal conspiracy and possession of firearms.

The arrests followed a month-long investigation spurred by an increase of counterfeit bills showing up in Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach. According to police, investigators were able to connect Delia and McCarthy to the bogus currency after tracking the fraudulent bills and seeing where they were being passed.

The investigation lead police to a location on Java Road and Coriander Street in Costa Mesa where they arrived with a search warrant. Upon arrival, they reportedly observed Delia fleeing the location in a white van. A short chase ensued, with Delia eventually returning to the residence where he tried to run back into the house, officials said. However, police were able to arrest him before he reentered.

According to police, Delia was out on bail for a separate counterfeiting, drug and weapons investigation at the time.

Soon after Delia’s capture, McCarthy was arrested, without incident, at the Hotel Huntington Beach where she works as a manager.

Both suspects reportedly were in possesion of counterfeit currency when they were arrested. Both are being held on $500,000 bail.

Along with counterfeiting equipment, police also reportedly recovered semi-automatic weapons including a shotgun and rifle, phony California driver’s licenses, fake Social Security cards, tools for creating fraudulent credit cards, martial arts weapons and packaged methamphetamine.

Police urged businesses to visually inspect all bills by matching each bill to its permanent watermark. They also suspect many unreported incidents of use of these bills and encourage anyone with additional information to contact the Costa Mesa Police Department.

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