(Beaver Dam) A Madison woman accused of passing counterfeit $100-dollar bills in Beaver Dam made her initial appearance in court Monday. A signature bond was set at $1,000 for 21-year-old Hazel Freiberg who is facing a variety of felony Forgery and Attempted Forgery charges. 19-year-old Kierre Washington is also facing similar charges for his alleged role. The pair allegedly passed the phony bills at Recheks Food Pride, Wal-Mart and Animart and trying to use them at Menards and Shopko. Washington is additionally charged with spending the fake cash at Game Stop. Three other stores received fake $100’s during the same timeframe but were not included in the charges because the suspects were not captured on video. All the offenses occurred this past March during a period of 90 minutes.
Freiberg allegedly bought low-cost items – like chewing gum, pregnancy tests or dog treats – and walked away with the change. In some of the incidents, she was also able to make change for a second, phony $100 bill. Freiberg conducted most of the transactions while Washington shopped or waited in the car.
The two were caught on video surveillance, which also connected them to similar crimes along the Interstate 94 corridor between Madison and Minnesota. The pair were apprehended along with a third suspect in Hudson.
GPS coordinates taken from their phones reportedly place them at the scene of the crimes. A text conversation with a convicted counterfeiter was allegedly discovered on Washington’s phone. Serial numbers on the bills were also identical.
Washington is accused of passing a bill at Game Stop where the clerk used a marker to check its authenticity. The clerk apparently confused the color that indicates a counterfeit bill and provided change for a pair of $8 socks anyway. Each Forgery charge carries a six year maximum prison sentence while the Attempted Forgery counts bring up to three years. Freiberg will be back in court next month for a preliminary hearing. Washington will be arraigned later this month.