Penn State football recruit Zayd Issah is facing multiple felony charges in a counterfeiting conspiracy in which he and two others allegedly forged currency and used it at Harrisburg fast food restaurants.
According to an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case, Susquehanna Township police on March 9 investigated a report of three men trying to pass counterfeit money at a McDonald's on North Front Street in Harrisburg. According to a press release, they were passing counterfeit $20 bills in the drive through, and the driver of the car was the son of the restaurant's owner. The suspects fled before officers arrived, but they were able to identify two of the men and arrest them, according to the affidavit.
Both of the suspects identified Mr. Issah, 18, of Harrisburg, as the third person involved in the counterfeiting. Police said that Facebook messages between Mr. Issah and one of the suspects showed that Mr. Zayd "both knew the money was forged and solicited a plan to 'clean' it," according to the affidavit. The press release identified the other two suspects as Brandon Wallace, 19, and Devacio McGowan, 18, both of Harrisburg.
The forged money was used by all three suspects to buy food at various fast-food restaurants, including McDonald's and Popeye's, police said. Police sought an arrest warrant for Mr. Issah on March 10.
A Penn State athletics spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Harrisburg Patriot-News first reported this story earlier Thursday.
Issah was a linebacker, running back and wide receiver for Harrisburg's Central Dauphin High School and was rated by Rivals as a three-star recruit. On March 18, nine days after the arrest, coach Bill O'Brien said of Issah and another recruit: "We'll be looking for those guys to come in here in the summertime and see what they can do; can they help us on defense?"
Issah has been charged with two felony counts of conspiracy to commit forgery, four misdemeanor counts of theft by deception-false impression and two misdemeanor counts of forgery -- unauthorized act in writing. His preliminary hearing is May 9 in the Dauphin County district court of judge James Lenker.
Issah is the second current or future Nittany Lion to face criminal charges within the last month. In late February, freshman running back Akeel Lynch was charged with misdemeanor criminal mischief for kicking in a dormitory window in the fall.