Posted on: August 22, 2023, 10:20h.
Last updated on: August 22, 2023, 10:07h.
Michael Was, 44, was charged after security guards found the “forgery laboratory” in two rooms at the Las Vegas Strip hotel where he had been staying, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
He was charged with establishing or possessing a financial forgery laboratory with intent to commit an unlawful act, mail theft, and possessing a document or personal ID to commit forgery or counterfeiting.
He also was charged with being a prohibited person possessing a firearm and possession of a controlled substance.
During a search, security guards located pills, hypodermic needles, and suspected methamphetamine (meth). Guards also confiscated a gun from Was.
A background check by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) showed that Was was previously convicted in Nevada. Those charges included action in 2008 for burglary and in 2016 for establishing or possessing a financial forgery lab, forgery of a credit or debit card, theft, and forgery, according to the Review-Journal.
Blank Checks, Card Printers, Credit Cards Seized
Authorities found several other notable items, including additionally found blank checks, card printers, credit cards (a total of 12, which were stolen or forged), an embosser, an ID card printer, laminating sheets, paper cutters, passports, tax forms, and other materials used in the scheme, according to the Review-Journal.
Was' notebook had details on various individuals involved in the forgery operation. Among the other items discovered were an electronic credit card reader and counterfeit keys for post office boxes.
It was not immediately known if the fake IDs were made for local residents or people living out of state. It was also unclear if the fraudulent IDs were for underage people or if they would be used for identity theft-related crimes.
Suspicous Charges Led to Arrest
The Delano is an all-suite boutique hotel operated by MGM Resorts that is located inside Mandalay Bay. The hotel's security staff began to investigate Was after discovering the credit card he used to reserve the rooms wasn't in his name.
That led them to search two adjoining rooms and to Was' arrest on August 11.
If convicted on the current charges, Was could be sentenced to several years in prison.
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