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What’s in your wallet?

Counterfeit $50s showing up in the area

Published: Monday, July 7, 2014 3:22 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, July 7, 2014 3:37 p.m. CDT

PRINCETON — Counterfeit money has made its way back into the Central Illinois area.

As reported Monday morning in the Sauk Valley News, a Tampico man was arrested Sunday for trying to use counterfeit money at the Petunia Festival in Dixon. David W. Crow, 28, of Tampico was arrested at 1:50 p.m. Sunday after North American Midway Entertainment staff contacted the Dixon Police Department about a counterfeit $50 bill being used at the carnival area at Dixon High School. Crow was arrested and charged with three felonies of forgery, after officers found three counterfeit $50 bills in Crow’s possession.

On Monday, Bureau County Sheriff John Thompson said the attempted use of counterfeit money is not just a summer thing around festivals, fairs and carnivals, but is something that can happen any time of the year.

Unfortunately, there has been a notable increase in the manufacture of counterfeit money since the advent of technology, Thompson said. Several years ago Bureau County Chief Deputy Tim Trevier helped in an investigation into the use of counterfeit money which involved youthful offenders in LaSalle County, which also had an impact in Bureau County. The Secret Service also became involved in that investigation, he said.

He has not heard of any more recent cases of counterfeit money being passed locally.

The most common method of manufacturing counterfeit money is a bleaching process which takes out the currency amount on the bill and then imprints a larger currency amount on the bill, Thompson said.

There are some types of coloring methods which attempt to test bills for authenticity. On the federal level, there are some changes in design of the larger bills and also the installation of a magnetic strip in the bill. He does have several counterfeit bills at his office which are used in training his deputies, Thompson said.

However, Thompson said with the advanced degree of technology, it’s very hard for people to tell a counterfeit bill. But if a bill doesn’t look right or have the right feel of a good bill, then residents can certainly question it and contact authorities.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com. 

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