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Fourth man arrested in currency case

A fourth man has been taken into custody for allegedly stealing $125,000 worth of old currency then claiming to have found it buried in a yard, police said Sunday.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A fourth man has been arrested for allegedly stealing $125,000 worth of old currency then claiming to have found it buried in a yard, police said Sunday.

Matt Ingham, 23, was arrested at his house in Newton Saturday as a fugitive from justice. He was scheduled to be arraigned on Monday, authorities said.

Investigators say Ingham was part of a group of men accused of stealing the cache of old currency while doing a roofing job on someone’s property.

Barry Billcliff, 27, and Timothy Crebase, 24, pleaded innocent Friday after being arrested on charges of receiving stolen property, conspiracy and accessory after the fact. Another man, Kevin Kozak, 27, surrendered Friday night and is scheduled to be arraigned in Lawrence (Mass.) District Court on Monday on the same charges.

The arrests came after the men appeared on national television to talk about the buried treasure, and police noticed how the story was different each time.

Investigators said Crebase confessed under questioning, saying he, Billcliff and Ingham — all roofers — found the money stuffed in rusting tin cans in the gutter of a barn in Newbury, Mass., they were hired to repair. They then persuaded Kozak to go along with their story, authorities said.

In the alleged confession, Crebase said Ingham planned to use proceeds to fund his rock band.

Ingham’s mother disputes her son’s involvement in the alleged hoax. Janet Ingham told WMUR-TV in Manchester that her son wasn’t even with Crebase and Billcliff the day police say they found the antique money.

Ingham said her son had come home early from Florida to turn himself in to police.

A woman who answered the telephone at the only listing for Ingham in Newton declined to comment to The Associated Press Sunday.

Billcliff and Crebase claimed they dug up the buried treasure from the yard of a home owned by Kozak, which he rented to Crebase. Their lawyers said last week that Billcliff and Crebase were sticking to their story.

Billcliff told The Boston Globe for Sunday editions that the men did not steal the money from the Newbury barn, but admitted that he and the others made up parts of their story to discourage others from coming to the home where they claim they found it.

“It’s our fault we misdirected a lot of people,” he told the paper. “There’s nothing malicious. We created this mess, but it’s going to work itself out. We just didn’t want gold diggers going out and digging up the yard.”

The cache included 1,800 bank notes and bills dating from 1899 to 1928. The currency had a face value of about $7,000, but prosecutors said the men had been offered $125,000 by a collector.