3 Long Island teens accused of passing out counterfeit cash

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Stacey Sager reports on three students charged with passing out fake $20 bills at their school. (WABC)

Three teens on Long Island were in court Wednesday to face charges that they gave out out fake $20 bills at their high school.

According to Nassau County police, 17-year-old Melvin Pineda and 16-year-old Teisean Kemp, both of Uniondale; and 16-year-old Kquamel Jones, of Hempstead, handed out several counterfeit bills to fellow students at Uniondale High School.

Police say one of the teens even handed the bills to a teacher.

"Two $20 bills were given to a teacher for a payment of a pizza party," Nassau Detective Sergeant Richard Harasym said.

The teacher alerted police because she could tell they were fake.

Police say Pineda actually brought a bunch of the 20s to a BJ's Wholesale Club where he used to work in a pretty obvious attempt to make change.

"He purchased a box of cereal and gave the cashier 15 $20 bills," Harasym said.

Police arrested them at the school in the cafeteria Tuesday during lunchtime.

During the arraignment, the judge took note of their ages and the fact that their families appeared in court with them.

According to police, Jones had 10 counterfeit $20 bills. All three are charged as adults with multiple counts of criminal possession forged instrument.

Pineda's attorney, Guy Allen, said his client "maintains that he didn't have any of the alleged money with him...This will all be sorted out."

The teens appeared to be frightened and confused as they left court, their families cursing at reporters and doing anything to block our pictures"

"He didn't do anything wrong," one parent said. "Get the cameras out of his face. We don't want any cameras."

One teen's grandmother even had him in a head lock, with his hoodie over his face, as they left.

"Right now, they're suggesting he go to ADP court, so it's a juvenile court," attorney Greg Madey said. "So I think it'll work out to his advantage."

The teens all pleaded not guilty.
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counterfeitlong island newsUniondale
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