Bogus Benjamins Briefly Beguile Back Bay Bartender

BOSTON, March 19, 2013—Two Rhode Island men were arraigned today for allegedly passing counterfeit bills at the bar of a downtown hotel, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.

FELIX PEREZ (D.O.B. 4/5/89) of Providence and DANA LEYLAND (D.O.B. 7/5/83) of Pawtucket were arraigned today in the Boston municipal Court on one count each of possessing counterfeit notes and uttering counterfeit currency. Leyland is additionally charged with providing a false name to arresting Boston Police officers – apparently because of outstanding warrants for related offenses.

Perez was held on $1000 cash bail. Leyland was held on $7500 cash bail and held without bail pending transport to two other Massachusetts courts in which he faces charges.

The bartender at the Charlesmark Hotel called Boston Police last night at about 9:15 last night to say that three men had passed him what he believed to be counterfeit $100 bills, and that he had followed two of those men to a nearby bar. The third man made good his escape.

The bartender said the two men – later identified as Perez and Leyland – had ordered two Coronas and a Hennessey cognac and paid with a $100 bill. Their missing associate also bought a drink for which he paid with a $100 bill. All three received change from the register. All three left the bar after finishing their drinks.

The bartender noticed that the bills did not seem genuine and appeared to have a “ghost image” of President Lincoln on them. The bartender followed Perez and Leyland to Solas, another bar a short distance away, where he told a responding Boston Police officer about his observations.

Boston Police spoke with both defendants and asked them for identification. Perez produced a Rhode Island driver’s license but Leyland, who was drinking a club soda, said he had no identification. The officer asked to speak with the men outside, only to be joined moments later by the Solas bartender, who stated that two patrons had just turned in seven $100 bills found in the immediate vicinity of where the defendants had been. Those bills are also believed to be counterfeit.

Officers took both men into custody. Another $100 bill, also believed to be phony, was found in Perez’ pocket during the booking process. It was mixed in with various denominations of genuine US currency.

Leyland allegedly told the booking officers first that his name was “Matthew Gagne” and then that it was “Dana McLaren,” but ultimately admitted his true identity. At that point, Boston Police learned of three warrants charging him with possessing and uttering counterfeit bills out of Taunton and Attleboro district courts. Boston Police notified the US Secret Service of the men’s arrests.

Perez was represented by attorney Michael D’Amore and Leyland today by attorney Larry Fallon. They will return to court on April 10 and April 16, respectively.

in courtroom 906 of Suffolk Superior Court.


All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.