SEAL BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Eight alleged gang members and gang associates were arrested in connection with a money counterfeiting and laundering scheme in a string of raids across LA County on Thursday.
The eight suspects are accused of using illegally made $20 bills at big box stores including Toys R’ Us. The suspects then returned the items for cash, authorities said.
The gang members are believed to have used the illegal money in at least 50 cities in California and are believed to have made at least $100,000 in the scheme, police said. That money was used to purchase guns and drugs that were used to commit dozens of other crimes, authorities said.
The raids on Thursday came after an eight month police investigation, the Seal Beach Police Department said. Among the investigation’s findings: one of the suspects in April used fake cash to purchase items at a Toys R’ Us in Cypress and immediately tried to return the items for cash at a Seal Beach location.
Police are still working to determine who printed the fake cash.