Three people accused in a counterfeiting case are being held without bond.
Taoreed A. Adeleke, 25, made a brief magistrate court appearance Wednesday. He did not enter pleas in the case. His court-appointed attorney, Scott Kuck, asked that Adeleke be released on a personal recognizance bond so he can continue taking college classes, a request Judge Mark Anderson denied.
Anderson said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are investigating Adeleke's status in the country.
While it wasn't discussed in court, one possibility is that Adeleke and the two other Nigerians arrested in the case had student visas to study and, now that they've been charged, their visas have been revoked.
Adeleke is charged with 40 counts of forgery because he allegedly possessed or used fake $100 bills in the Aberdeen area. He's also charged with conspiracy to commit grand theft by deception. Each charge is a felony punishable by as much as five years in state prison and a $10,000 fine.
Akinleye O. Akinwale, 23, and Babatunde M. Anuoluwapo, 22, both of Aberdeen, are also charged in the case. They each face 25 counts of possession of forged $100 bills and single counts of conspiracy to commit grand theft by deception. Possession of forged bills is a felony punishable by as much as two years in state prison and a $4,000 fine.
The next court date in the case is scheduled for Wednesday.
Authorities believe as many as 200 bogus $100 bills might have been brought into the region from Nigeria. They say there's a good chance some of the fake money is still circulating in the area.
The fraudulent bills have serial numbers beginning with "HL21189" and cannot be detected through the use of counterfeit-detection pens. The fakes can be detected by inspecting the security strip and watermark against a dark background. If the marks remain visible, the bills are counterfeit.
People or businesses that see the phony hundreds should call police at 605-626-7911.