Woman faces more charges in counterfeit scheme

An Altoona woman faces more charges stemming from her alleged involvement in a counterfeit money scheme.

Melinda Ann Newberry, 28, of 2715 Fairway Drive, Apt. 1-D, was arraigned Thursday on felony criminal attempted forgery after Altoona police said she tried to pass a bogus $100 bill at Nic’s Grab and Go, 1010 Sixth Ave.

According to police, Newberry walked into the store Feb. 20 and tried to buy a pack of Newport 100s with a $100 bill, one the clerk told police looked odd and had a different feel than the other bills.

Police said the clerk told Newberry the bill was fake and handed it back. Police posted still photographs taken from the store’s security cameras on the Altoona police Facebook page, and Newberry was identified as a suspect.

Newberry allegedly admitted to trying to use the fake money but wouldn’t tell police where she got it. Police said Newberry only said that a man provided her with the money, drove her to area stores and gave her a portion of the change received after the transactions.

Newberry was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Auker on Thursday and released on unsecured $5,000 bond. Newberry was arrested in late February on similar charges in Allegheny and Freedom townships stemming from alleged passing of counterfeit bills at local Walmarts.

A preliminary hearing at Central Court is slated for Wednesday.