Westport counterfeit scam: Man faces racketeering charge over fake $100s

A New York man in jail for one year after he was caught passing counterfeit $100 bills in Westport has been slapped with racketeering charges by the Chief States Attorney's Office.

Trendell Rogers, 40 of Woodside, Queens, was arrested and charged with one count of violating the Corrupt Organizations and Racketeering Act and six counts each of first-degree forgery, conspiracy to commit first-degree forgery, sixth-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit sixth-degree larceny.

He was arraigned Thursday on the charges at state Norwalk Superior Court and ordered held in lieu of $100,000 on the new charges.

After his arrest May 12, 2010, by Westport police, Rogers was charged with 24 counts of first-degree forgery, 24 counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree forgery, six counts of sixth-degree larceny and six counts of attempt to commit sixth degree larceny and was ordered held in lieu of $250,000 bond.

An arrest warrant for a man arrested with Rogers, Walter Nichols, 40, of Macungie, Pa., has been also issued by investigators in the Chief States Attorney's Office charging him with the same offenses. Nichols is currently held in Pennsylvania in an unrelated case.

The two were picked up after they allegedly drove to five locations in Westport where they used phony $100 bills to buy small items such as sandwiches, a small pizza and body wash from a drug store in order to pocket the change, police at the time said.

At Dan's Liquors, 607 Post Road East, and tried to use one of the fake $100 bills to buy a tiny bottle of Absolut vodka for $7.49, the clerk refused to take the bill and called police.

The two were later found in their car with two Quarter Pounders, body wash from Colonial Druggist, a sandwich from Gold's Delicatessen, a small pizza from Planet Pizza and two pieces of chocolate cake from Villarina's Pizza, and another 14 counterfeit bills along with $585 in cash.