Police report rash of counterfeit money

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 10:36 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 20, 2021 at 11:22 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Restaurants in Jonesboro are losing cash as counterfeit money circulates throughout the city.

Skip Steele, the owner of Que 49, said his restaurant staff let a couple of counterfeit bills into their cashier drawers a week ago.

“So many people handing you money at one time is when you have to start watching for it,” Steele said.

Steele mentioned normally he sees a rash of counterfeits during the fall when his restaurant is vending at fall festivals.

“People are out with a lot of cash in their pocket,” he said.

Que 49 is just one of a few restaurants that have come across counterfeit bills.

Within three weeks, Jonesboro Police have had at least four reports of restaurants discovering counterfeit money.

Detective Brian Arnold said it is not uncommon for money to be circulating throughout the city.

“Sometimes people invertedly and not know it’s a counterfeit,” Arnold said.

Detective Arnold added counterfeit money sometimes can pass as real money, but there are several ways to determine the authenticity.

“It looks like real money,” he said, “but it’ll have either some Chinese writing or for motion picture only.”

Another way Arnold said people can notice counterfeit money is by the feel of the paper, noting that “real money has cotton-based paper” while the counterfeit is on “regular 8.5 by 11″ paper that’s cut out.

In the state of Arkansas, deliberately using counterfeit money is considered first-degree forgery, which is a Class B Felony.

Violators can receive up to 5 to 20 years in prison, along with $15,000 in fines if convicted.

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