A man who is planning to auction off hundreds of vintage pianos, trumpet, violin, and banjo instruments for a combined price of $300 and the chance to get a job as a music teacher was arrested on suspicion of possessing counterfeit instruments and attempting to pass them off as authentic, according to the U.S. Secret Service.
In a separate development, federal prosecutors in Georgia are seeking to have former New York City police officer Joshua Johnson charged with possessing counterfeit and illegal instruments, according a press release from U. S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Johnson, 31, of Brooklyn, is being held on $50,000 bail in the Southern District of Georgia.
Johnson is accused of making more than $1,000 in counterfeit instrument purchases between April and October, according the press release.
The New York Police Department has said that Johnson, who is also a former police officer, was a member of the department’s Criminal Intelligence Unit and a member and former sergeant.
He has also served as a police officer and has been suspended without pay since April for “unlawful conduct,” according to a statement from the department.
The department said Johnson was terminated for violating department policies, which prohibit officers from making false statements or engaging in conduct that would interfere with an investigation.
Johnson was placed on paid administrative leave and placed on administrative leave from the New York police force in August, according for the department, which said it will not make any further comment.
The indictment charges that Johnson obtained and maintained counterfeit instruments, as well as the use of a “suspected counterfeit instrument” to buy them.
Johnson has been on administrative duties since December, according his attorney, David S. Tompkins.
The indictment charges Johnson with attempting to sell a counterfeit instrument, and with possessing a counterfeit firearm.
Johnson faces up to five years in prison if convicted.
He is being detained at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.