Charges were filed on Monday against a Santaquin man who reportedly tried to use fake $50 and $100 bills at different stores in Provo, Orem, Saratoga Springs and Pleasant Grove last week.

Sandy Van Smith, 40, is facing four counts of money laundering, all second-degree felonies, as well as 16 counts of forgery, three counts of theft by deception and one count of possession of forgery devices, all third-degree felonies.

He reportedly attempted to use the counterfeit money to purchase a handful of prepaid credit cards to pay drug dealers for drugs, according to charging documents from 4th District Court.

On Jan. 2, the Provo Police Department responded to a Walgreens pharmacy store on reports of a man trying to buy a Visa prepaid card with three $100 bills and four $50 bills which were all forgeries.

Three days later, the same man went to a Walmart in Saratoga Springs and bought a prepaid card with four forged $50 bills, charges state.

The same person went to another Walmart in Pleasant Grove the next day and bought another prepaid card with one real $100 bill and four fake $50 bills. He reportedly returned on Dec. 9 and got another card using eight forged $50 bills and one real $100 bill.

“While attempting to purchase a pre-paid gift card in Orem, the male suspect was required to provide an I.D. (much like being required when purchasing beer or cigarettes),” police wrote in a probable cause statement. “The male suspect provided a Utah I.D. for Sandy Smith.”

In 2012, 2016 and 2018, Smith was convicted of shoplifting multiple times, court documents show. He is being held at the Utah County Jail without bail for two warrants of additional retail theft and assault.

Ashley Stilson covers crime, courts and breaking news for the Daily Herald. She can be reached at 801-344-2556 or astilson@heraldextra.com.

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