Eight people, including two Kanawha County men, have been indicted by a federal grand jury on counterfeiting charges.
Kevin Erwin, 33, of St. Albans and Matthew Humphries, 34, of Nitro paid for a hotel room in Charleston with a counterfeit $50 bill in January, according to the United States Attorney's Office.
When hotel management alerted law enforcement, officers searching the hotel room found equipment used to create counterfeit bills.
Also charged with counterfeiting are Joseph Duffield, 22, of Milton, who tried to pass $100 counterfeit bills at restaurants; Craig Ranker, 26, and Mara Krom, 22, both of Tiffin, Ohio, and Robert James Goodale, 30, of Findlay, Ohio, who authorities said used a scanner and printer to make fake $20 bills and spend them in Spencer, Roane County; Roger L. Atkinson II, 37, of Ripley and Lawrence "BJ" Holbrook, 36, of Spencer, who created fake bills and attempted to spend them in Spencer.
The charges are brought as part of U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin's initiative to help protect small businesses from fraud.
Goodwin said, "Because many small companies operate on limited budgets, any loss could significantly impact their ability to remain in business."Each count of counterfeiting carries a possible 20-year prison sentence.