CROWN POINT | Lake County prosecutors have charged five people with multiple counts of forgery and counterfeiting in an alleged plot to defraud a Hammond Walmart.
Police allege Roy Haywood, 30, of Lansing, a former employee of the Hammond Walmart at 1238 Fifth Ave., paid Walmart cashiers to load counterfeit money onto his Walmart debit card.
Haywood admitted he went to a different Walmart store and withdrew cash from the credit balance, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Haywood also faces a theft charge alleging he bought a video game system with counterfeit bills, which he returned to another Walmart for a refund.
Haywood initially told police he had received counterfeit bills gambling in Illinois, according to court records. When he realized the money was fake, he decided to get his money back by purchasing the game system with the counterfeit bills and obtaining a refund, records state.
However, a loss prevention officer for the store also discovered a cashier identified as Takeisha Read, 23, of East Chicago, had taken in $600 and $400 in counterfeit bills and then loaded the money on Haywood's store debit card, the affidavit states.
Haywood is accused of paying Read and Ryan Reid, 28, of Lansing, for their roles in the transactions. Reid is accused of passing fake bills to Read.
Three other transactions involved store cashier Trent Wright, 21, of Dolton, who was recruited by Haywood to load bad bills totaling $2,200 on three separate occasions onto Haywood's debit card, according to the affidavit.
The fifth person charged is Rebecca Cooper, 26, of Hammond, who told police she was recruited by Haywood to pass the bad bills to Wright, the affidavit states.
The counterfeit bills discovered in the store's cash drawers were in small denominations from $5 to $20, the affidavit states.