Strip club patrons use phony $100 bills for hundreds of singles

Charges considered against men

INDIANAPOLIS - Two Indianapolis strip club customers have been questioned in a criminal investigation after police said they passed eight phony $100 bills in exchange for stacks of real $1 bills.

Police caught up with both men at a second strip club, after the Rick’s Cabaret in the 3500 block of Lafayette Road reported that they had passed the phony currency earlier in the same evening.

Managers at Rick’s Cabaret told IMPD officers that one man had exchanged seven counterfeit $100 bills in exchange for 700 actual $1 bills. He and his companion are accused of passing an eighth counterfeit $100 bill to pay for their bar tab, but by the time club staff realized the money was fake, the men could not be located.

Surveillance video from the Rick’s Cabaret showed the men leaving in separate vehicles, with one of the men wearing a knit cap and a sweat shirt with the words “Pink Dolphin” on it.

Moments after leaving the club, police reports indicate officers were called to a second strip club, the Sunset Strip in the 2300 block of West 16th Street, where officers said they spotted the same vehicles that had been described at the Rick’s Cabaret episode.

Police detained a 29-year-old man and a 32-year-old man for questioning, and officers noted that one of them was wearing the same “Pink Dolphin” sweat shirt.

Staff from the second club provided police with the driver’s licenses scanned by the men as they were entering the club, part of a regular security protocol.

After being read his Miranda rights, one of the suspected counterfeiters then told officers he knew nothing about fake money. He claimed the bar tab at Rick’s Cabaret had been paid with a couple of $20 bills.

Police then viewed the surveillance video from the Sunset Strip club, and officers noted one of the men had stacks of several hundred $1 bills as he entered the club.

One of the men was then spotted on the surveillance video trying to hand some of the $1 bills to a dancer at the club, police said.

With both suspects handcuffed, police said they searched one of the cars and found “a large amount of cash” wrapped up with a rubber band, adding up to $1,240. Officers also reported smelling marijuana in the car, while also finding a pill and a scale possibly used for the sale of narcotics.

Police impounded the car as they gathered evidence for possible criminal charges in the case.

The Call 6 Investigators reported earlier this month that phony $100 bills were being passed at businesses throughout Indianapolis. In one recent weekend, a bank in the Broad Ripple area reported merchants turning in 15 high-quality fake $100 bills in a single weekend.

The men have not yet been charged with any crimes from this week’s strip club events, but Marion County court records show both men have been arrested in the past for dealing drugs and carrying weapons without licenses.

Club managers have offered the surveillance video to police for their investigation, and officers also confiscated the fake bills, as well as the real money that was found in their car.

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