Feds: Indiana man uses 37 fake $20 bills at Dayton Dragons game

Kenneth J. Stopkotte may have bought himself some peanuts and Cracker Jack during Wednesday’s Dayton Dragons game but a federal agent alleged he used fake $20 bills to do it.

Stopkotte, 52, an Indiana man on federal probation for stealing $180,000 of donations to Tennessee churches, recently got out of prison after serving more than three years.

A new criminal complaint was filed in Dayton’s U.S. District Court against Stopkotte.

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Stopkotte had his initial appearance in federal court Friday and had a detention hearing scheduled for Monday. Counts of uttering and dealing in counterfeit obligations or securities each carry maximum sentences of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

The complaint alleges Stopkotte used 37 counterfeit $20 bills during Wednesday’s game — a 4-1 win over South Bend — at stadium concession stands and with vendors.

Based off information from a Dragons food vendor, Dayton police contacted Kevin Dye, resident agent in charge of Dayton’s U.S. Secret Service office. Stopkotte tried to pass another fake bill, Dye says in the federal complaint, when he was detained and questioned.

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The criminal complaint says Stopkotte indicated he bought a $20 game ticket from a scalper using a $100 bill and that must have been the source of the fakes.

Stopkotte initially was found with more than $200 and seven debit cards with another person’s name, Dye says in the federal court records.

The complaint says eight of 21 vendors identified Stopkotte as the source of the counterfeit bills and that the suspect said, “Wouldn’t I have more money on me if I passed all those $20s?”

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When Stopkotte was searched again, Dye alleges in the complaint that another $296 was found in his left coat jacket pocket and $166 in Stopkotte’s right shoe under an insert.

Another 52 fake $20s were found in two bags under a refrigerator in the lower section of the stadium, according to the court records.

Stopkotte wanted to cooperate, the complaint says, and he provided a statement to law enforcement.

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Stopkotte allegedly told Dye that he purchased 200 fake $20 bills online in early March. The suspect said he passed 15-20 counterfeit bills at a hockey game in Phoenix and hid some more in his Unionville, Ind., residence, according to the court records.

Stopkotte is being held in the Montgomery County Jail. He was on federal probation for money laundering and bank fraud after serving 37 months in prison in West Virginia, the complaint says.

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