Businesses tricked with counterfeit bills

Abbey Whittington , Associate News Editor

Several counterfeit bills have been passed or attempted for use in various businesses in the past three to four weeks.

The Charleston Police Department is investigating these incidents.

Businesses that have received the fake bills include East Side Package, McDonald’s, Dairy Queen, Casey’s General Store and Huck’s Gas Station.

Casey’s General Store identified a fake bill; however, the individual who had the bill received it from another purchase elsewhere. Since the counterfeit was not intentional, the individual who had the bill was not charged with forgery.

East Side Package received a counterfeit $100 bill, and Huck’s Gas Station received a counterfeit $50 bill, both reported to the CPD.

McDonald’s and Dairy Queen each received fake $100 bills, which were identified as counterfeit with the marker test.

The markers used to test genuine bills contain an iodine solution that reacts to wood-based paper and leaves a dark stain on fake bills.

Real bills are made with fiber-based paper and will have no discoloration in a marker test.

Casey resident Chantel Berryman, 21, was charged with forgery after an attempt to give McDonald’s a counterfeit $100 bill.

The McDonald’s employee wrote down her license plate and reported the incident to the CPD.

Tony West, a CPD detective, said the bill read “for motion picture use only” across the top.

West said in his interviews with Berryman that she said she was unaware of the label on the bill.

As for the money lost, West said businesses can only be reimbursed for the counterfeit bills if an arrest is made and if restitution is granted.

This also goes for individuals who make personal sales and receive counterfeit money from the buyer.

In order for an officer to press forgery charges, they have to prove a suspect’s intent to deprive a business or another individual.

West said sometimes, bills are so old it is hard for businesses to tell if they are counterfeit or genuine.

“Most (counterfeit) bills are sent to the U.S. Secret Service, and they confirm if it is real,” West said.

West said the $50 bills appeared more realistic than the $100 bills and had the following serial numbers: JG68375471A, JK21536354A and MF14226571A.

The other $100 bills had the serial number PR10008679P and also read “for motion picture use only” across the top.

West said most of the time when a counterfeit bill is discovered, it is by a bank teller when an individual or business goes to deposit their money.

West advised anyone who has stumbled upon any counterfeit bills with these serial numbers or has information on who is creating them to contact the Coles County Crime Stoppers line at 866-345-8488.


Abbey Whittington can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].