Counterfeit $50 Bills Passed at Sands, Police Say

New Jersey man charged with passing three counterfeit bills at casino over the weekend. Two other men charged with defiant trespass.


A New Jersey man was charged Saturday with passing three counterfeit $50 bills over a few days at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem.

Police at the SouthSide venue also dealt with two other criminal cases during the weekend, both involving defiant trespassing charges.

In the counterfeit case, Felix Antonio Tovar, 22, of Elizabeth admitted to police he passed three fake $50 bills, one of them at a table game around 5:50am Saturday. A criminal complaint does not say where Tovar may have gotten the bills.

The complaint does say that surveillance video showed Tovar passing two other counterfeit $50s while playing table games on previous days.

He was arraigned later Saturday by on-duty District Judge Jackie Taschner of Palmer Township on three counts of forgery and committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Also at the Sands on Saturday, Chi Hsiang Chen, 54, of the 1300 block of Chew Street, Allentown, was detained and later charged with defiant trespassing.

Court records say Chen returned to the casino despite being told by a security official and a translator on Feb. 10 he was not allowed back due to “improper human conduct.” The records do not elaborate.

Chen was arraigned later Saturday morning by Taschner and committed to county prison in lieu of $7,500 bail.

The next morning, police arrested a man – like Tovar from New Jersey – and later charged him with defiant trespassing and public drunkenness.

The records say Luis Florencio Rodriguez-Bravo, 35, of Summit was intoxicated and causing a disturbance around 4am and refused to leave the casino. He was escorted out and told he was permanently evicted.

The suspect walked toward the parking lot, then walked back inside before being taken into custody. A preliminary blood test for Rodriguez-Bravo, who had bloodshot, glassy eyes and was swaying while standing, tested positive for alcohol, the records say.

He was arraigned later Sunday morning by Taschner and committed to county prison in lieu of $10,000 bail.


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