Carbondale Police Combat Counterfeit Cash

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By Brandon Merano
By Benjy Jeffords

CARBONDALE -- So far this year 21 fake bills have turned up in Carbondale. That's compared to the 34 police seized all of last year.  Investigators held a forum to educate the community on what to look out for.

Carbondale Detective Brandon Weisenberger says counterfeit cash is more common than you might think.

"Most likely myself and everyone... has had a fake bill in their wallet at some point," said Weisenberger.

The detective and other officers gathered with community members and business owners Wednesday night to address the growing problem of counterfeit money being used in the city.

"It's something that we see on a daily basis here in Carbondale and in our neighboring jurisdictions," Weisenberger explained.

But right now there's so much fake money turning up in Carbondale investigators suspect a professional operation.

"It appears that there is an actual printing operation going on somewhere in Carbondale, or someone in Carbondale has received a vast amount of forged money that they are trying to distribute throughout local businesses," commented Weisenberger.

Counterfeiters will try to "wash" their money by going into a local business making a small purchase and then pocketing the "clean" change.

"When we start seeing the same serial numbers popping up in the same volume that we have, it indicates that these counterfeit bills are coming from the same batch."

Pat Bartholomew with Five Star Realty discovered a fake 20 when he recieved a rent payment last week. She says now she will be more thourough when taking cash payments.

"I really am glad that they let us know what to look for and how to tell. We will definitely go through every bill and use that marking pen," Bartholomew said.

 

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