C'ville man sent to prison in fake money scheme

A Cortlandville man convicted of using fake money used in movies to purchase items at city convenience stores was sentenced Thursday in Cortland County Court to one-and-a-half to four years in prison.

Artis L. Young, 29, formerly of 3586 St. Rte. 215, was also ordered to pay $20 in restitution to the A&A Mart at the 155 Tompkins St. Speedway, according to court documents.

Young was indicted on eight charges for passing fake money at four area convenience stores on Sept. 14 and twice using the phony cash to purchase Visa gift cards, gaining a total of $150 in real gift cards, according to the documents. On Dec. 6, Young pled guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny in exchange for the plea deal.

Young used the fake bills to purchase gift cards and items between 5:45 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. at convenience stores along Tompkins and Port Watson streets, according to the felony complaints.

Starting at the A&A Mart, Young used the fake bills to purchase a Red Bull energy drink and received $14.40 in real money in charge, according to the complaints. A half hour later, about 6:15, Young tried to purchase a $100 Visa gift card but an alert clerk recognized the bills were fake. Then Young went at 6:25 p.m. to the Kwik Fill at the corner of McLean Road and Route 13, purchased a $50 Visa gift card and a lighter with six fake bills, receiving $8.39 in change back. At 7:15 p.m., Young tried to purchase a pack of Pepsi at the Speedway at 110 Port Watson, but an observant cashier realized the bills were fake and refused to sell the soda.

In his signed statement to police, Young told Sgt. Sean Byrnes that he made or attempted to make all the purchases, but stated he did not intend to use phony cash.

“I never intentionally went into a store to use counterfeit money --- never,” said Young.

While Young was only charged with passing fake bills in the city, detectives believe Young likely tried to use counterfeit money at stops all along his route to work in Elmira, said Lt. Michael Strangeway in September.

Young was on parole when he was arrested and charged Sept. 22. He also has two prior felony convictions, according to court documents.

In 2016, Young pled guilty to felony second-degree burglary after he was arrested for burglarizing a residence in Homer and a residence in Virgil within two weeks, according to The Cortland Voice archives.