PELLA — The tulips were real. The money was not.
The Pella Police Department has charged an Illinois man for using counterfeit $20 bills at the Tulip Time festival. Skyler Patrick Carlson, 20, of Oregon, Illinois, has been charged with money laundering, forgery and fourth-degree theft. He was identified Friday, May 3, when a West Market Park vendor observed him passing a counterfeit $20 bill and notified police.
Between the dates of May 2 and May 3, the department received many reports of Carlson passing counterfeit $20 bills to vendors at the festival. Investigation of these reports allowed officers to develop a description of Carlson, which was distributed to festival vendors. Pella Police officers caught Carlson a short distance away.
Police discovered Carlson to be in possession of $380 in counterfeit $20 bills.
Investigators determined where Carlson was living and obtained a search warrant. Another $840 in counterfeit $20 bills was found in his room. Officers also found items that had been purchased from vendors using the counterfeit bills, along with approximately $700 of legal currency.
Money laundering is a Class C felony and carries a maximum prison sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of $1,000 to $10,000.
Forgery is a Class D felony and carries up to five years in prisonand a fine of between $750 and $7,500 for each conviction.
Convictions for a Serious Misdemeanor carry a period of confinement of up to one year in prison and a fine from $315 to $1,875 for each conviction.
Carlson is currently held at the Marion County Law Center on $16,000 cash bond.