Secret Service called on fake bills

May 30, 2010

May 21, 2010Secret Service called on fake bills

Police are planning to meet with the U.S. Secret Service to investigate where a number of counterfeit bills that surfaced here originated.

Thursday, an elementary student tried to purchase a yearbook at Ben Franklin Science Academy with a counterfeit $20 bill, police said Friday.

The child was in possession of four of the counterfeit bills, said Muskogee Police Investigator Lonnie Bemo.

The investigation of how the child got the fake money is one of 15 in connection with at least $600 in counterfeit $20 bills recovered in Muskogee in the last eight days, Bemo said.

Bemo is meeting next week with U.S. Secret Service agents in connection with the investigations here, he said.

The bills are being passed at convenience stores and fast food restaurants, he said.

Shop and Go, 1102 W. Shawnee Bypass, reported Thursday it received counterfeit $20 bills from an unknown suspect, Bemo said.

Shop and Go gave out at least three counterfeit $20 bills Thursday in change to an Oktaha man, another police report said.

The man who received them went to Creek Nation Casino and sought change for one of them, police said. That’s when he learned it was counterfeit.

Creek Nation Casino Manager Ferrell Kaaihue said every bill that comes through the casinos is checked. Only the one fake $20 has turned up here, he said.

The slot machines have readers in them that spit out any counterfeit money, he said. And employees handling money use ultraviolet lights to check bills they receive, he said.

Kum & Go at 2301 S. York St., also reported a customer used $60 in counterfeit $20 bills to purchase merchandise on Thursday, Bemo said.

A Secret Service representative in Tulsa did not return calls to the agency Friday.

How to detect counterfeit money

The public has a role in maintaining the integrity of U.S. currency. You can help guard against the threat from counterfeiters by becoming more familiar with United States currency.

Look at the money you receive. Compare a suspect note with a genuine note of the same denomination and series, paying attention to the quality of printing and paper characteristics. Look for differences, not similarities.

• Portrait — The genuine portrait appears lifelike and stands out distinctly from the background. The counterfeit portrait is usually lifeless and flat. Details merge into the background which is often too dark or mottled.

• Federal Reserve and Treasury Seals — On a genuine bill, the saw-tooth points of the Federal Reserve and Treasury seals are clear, distinct, and sharp. The counterfeit seals may have uneven, blunt, or broken saw-tooth points.

• Border — The fine lines in the border of a genuine bill are clear and unbroken. On the counterfeit, the lines in the outer margin and scrollwork may be blurred and indistinct.

• Serial Numbers — Genuine serial numbers have a distinctive style and are evenly spaced. The serial numbers are printed in the same ink color as the Treasury Seal. On a counterfeit, the serial numbers may differ in color or shade of ink from the Treasury seal. The numbers may not be uniformly spaced or aligned.

• Paper — Genuine currency paper has tiny red and blue fibers embedded throughout. Often counterfeiters try to simulate these fibers by printing tiny red and blue lines on their paper. Close inspection reveals, however, that on the counterfeit note the lines are printed on the surface, not embedded in the paper. It is illegal to reproduce the distinctive paper used in the manufacturing of United States currency.

Source: United States Secret Service

Reach Donna Hales at 684-2923 or .

Secret Service called on fake bills

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