Counterfeiter caught selling to famous Detroit pawn shop of 'Hardcore Pawn'

Secret Service catches counterfeiter thanks to his trip to American Jewelry and Loan in Detroit


DETROIT – He might qualify as one of Detroit's dumbest criminals.

Kenny "Boom" Smith was busted by the U.S. Secret Service for making and passing counterfeit money. Smith must have thought his funny money skills are pretty good because he attempted to sell both his counterfeit cash and his counterfeiting machine to a pawn shop. Not just any pawn shop, either.

American Jewelry and Loan is where the hit TV show "Hardcore Pawn" is shot. The store near 8 Mile and Evergreen roads has become a destination because of the show.


"We have tour buses and people from all over the world coming here. They love the show and we're a great pawn shop," said owner Les Gold.

Gold is the star of the show and has been in the pawn business a long time.

"We see everything. People bring in counterfeit money, counterfeit jewelry. Nothing surprises me nowadays," he said.


So Gold didn't bat an eyelash when Smith showed up and wanted to sell him his counterfeit money and machine. He wanted to be on the show. Smith told Gold he would bring his counterfeiting equipment to the store. A short time later the Secret Service showed up at American Jewelry and Loan. They had been tracing Smith's activities since he had been passing his fake bills.

Gold filled them in on what Smith had told him and the agents found out Smith's counterfeiting claims had been captured on camera for the show.

So now, Smith has been busted by the Secret Service and charged in federal court. This isn't his first counterfeiting case either. He has done a stint in prison for the same thing and if convicted he is going back again.

As Gold says, "All because he wanted his five minutes of fame on TV."

Smith actually signed a waiver to be on the TV show.


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