Friends Used Fake Traveler's Checks at Burnsville Center, Police say

Updated: 02/06/2013 4:08 PM KSTP.com By: Maricella Miranda

Authorities say two friends spent hundreds of dollars in counterfeit traveler's checks while shopping at the Burnsville Center mall. 

The man and woman allegedly began their shopping spree last week at three stores, where they spent a total of $500 in counterfeit traveler's checks, according to a Dakota County criminal complaint.

Store employees identified the pair. Mall security called police Jan. 28 while they were shopping.

Gregory W. Newell, 42, of Vadnais Heights, and Crystal L. Walker, 29, of Babbitt, Minn., told security that Walker's sister gave them the checks because she owed Walker money, the charges said.

Authorities reportedly recovered another $500 in counterfeit traveler's checks on Newell, and $350 in fake checks on Walker. They also had four bags of merchandise.

Walker later told police that Newell was "a big counterfeiter of traveler's checks" and had about $150,000 worth of fake checks, the complaint said. She said Newell took her to a Bloomington hotel earlier that day, where she watched him print several $50 traveler's checks from a laptop so she could buy clothes.

Newell has been charged with felonies of aggravated forgery and check forgery. He was arrested and later released on $35,000 bail.

Walker remained in custody Wednesday on felony charges of check forgery and offering a forged check.