OSWEGO — The Oswego Police Department arrested an Oswego man Thursday following an investigation into the use of what authorities called “fake money” at several area establishments.

Authorities arrested Richard M. Szymanski around 8:45 a.m. Thursday, charging the 41-year-old with first-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, a class C felony, alleging the Oswego man intentionally defrauded others.

Police said Szymanski possessed a counterfeit $100 bill and knowingly attempted to use the bill to purchase items at a Dunkin Donuts in the city on June 11.

The Oswego Police Department (OPD) offered some information to the public Friday in an attempt to reduce the likelihood other businesses would be victimized and to deter the use of the fictitious bills.

Police said three types of fake bills have been seen in different denominations, and noted the bills contain phrases such as “use only for motion pictures,” “replicas,” and “World Universal Bank Unlimited.” Authorities, however, cautioned other versions could exist.

OPD officials said on quick glance, the bills could be mistaken for U.S. currency, but when examined closely there are multiple points that are “inconsistent with what should be on appropriate currency.”

The Oswego City Police Department encourages the use of counterfeit identification markers, as well as brief scan of any bills being used as currency.  If there are any bills located that are believed to be fictitious, OPD encourages the public to report the incident.

In a press release Friday, Oswego police said there are multiple cases “still being actively investigated,” and multiple charges and arrests on different subjects were anticipated. Police ask anyone with information to contact the Oswego City Police Department at 315-342-8120.

Following reports of the fraudulent bills, members of OPD’s Criminal Investigations Division worked diligently to investigate these complaints and were ultimately able to identify multiple individuals involved in the use of these fictitious bills, according to a police spokesperson.

Szymanski was arraigned Wednesday in Oswego City Court and remanded to the Oswego County Jail with no bail. He is scheduled to return to Oswego City Court July 3 at 1:30 p.m.

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