Coweta Crime

Counterfeit money common as yard sales, flea markets increase

by John A. Winters


Special Photo

The U.S. Secret Service has provided brochures on how to tell if money is counterfeit.

The start of flea markets and yard sales is also bringing out a rash of counterfeit bills.

One local couple reported receiving five counterfeit $20 bills while working their stand recently at the Franklin Road Flea Market on Newnan’s west side.

“It’s aggravating to us,” said Rose Gilley. “It seems these evil people are hitting flea markets and yard sales.”

Her husband, who can only use one eye, was able to spot two of the bills. However, when he went to the bank the next day, the teller found three more.

“There’s a lady there who’s in a wheelchair, and she said a young white kid about 16 tried to buy a dollar item from her, but she had a pen to detect that the bill was fake. Had she not had this pen the kid would have received $19 in change.

“We know it wasn’t just one person,” Gilley added. “It seemed like there’s a gang floating around out there and that’s not good. The lady at the bank said they are getting hundreds of dollars of counterfeit bills, mainly from flea markets and garage sales.”

With advancements in printer technology, it is becoming easier to print reasonably good counterfeit money.

The biggest problem for counterfeiters is the paper.

The counterfeit detection pen contains an iodine solution that reacts with starch in wood-pulp based paper to create a black stain. However, when it is applied to fiber-based paper used in real bills, no discoloration occurs.

The pen can detect certain low quality counterfeit bills — namely ones people try to make with copiers and regular copy paper. It can’t detect high-end counterfeit bills using similar fiber as real U.S. currency.

There are various ways to detect counterfeit money, one of the best is simply the feel. U.S. currency is done with intaglio printing, meaning there is an actual imprint on the money and you can feel it.

Newer currency also has color-shifting ink. Look at the lower right-hand corner of the bill’s face. There is a printed numeral, and tilting the bill back and forth will show a change in color.

The U.S. Treasury Department is constantly working on ways to make money harder to counterfeit.

This October, the department is expected to unveil a new $100 bill. It will be only the fourth time the $100 bill has changed — but it has changed three times in the last 20 years.

The new bill includes a 3-D ribbon that moves when the bill is tilted. Other parts of the bill will change from copper to green when it’s tilted. 

The federal government said the latest technology changes took more than a decade to perfect.

Last summer, two Atlanta men were arrested for using counterfeit $50 bills to purchase food at fast-food restaurants along Bullsboro Drive in Newnan. 

Newnan Police were called to the Krystal restaurant in Shenandoah Plaza on Bullsboro after the manager reported two suspects had given them a fake $50 bill, according to statements in a police officer’s report.

The manager gave a description of the suspects’ clothes, as well as what vehicle they were driving. That vehicle later was located on Bullsboro Drive at a gas station and the manager identified them as the suspects. 

Detectives found food from Arby’s and McDonald’s and went to those locations to see if other counterfeit bills were used.

A fake $50 bill was found at the McDonald’s.

Kendall Jaman Wright, 25, and Darrico Morris, 24, were each charged with forgery and possession of a weapon during commission of a crime, according to Coweta County Jail records.

That incident led many area stores to stop accepting larger bills.

More Local

Oct. 5 is Voter Registration Deadline

Today (Monday) is the deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 3 municipal elections. If you’re already registered to vote, you don&r ... Read More

Man found guilty of child molestation, enticement

A man with two previous arrests for rape was convicted Tuesday of molesting a child. It took a jury only a few hours to convict Randy Hunter ... Read More

Seizure-plagued Grantville woman’s health dramatically improves with CBD

Stacy Wilson has suffered from severe seizures since she was 4 years old. All those years of tonic-clonic (formerly known as “grand ma ... Read More

Piedmont Newnan thwarts talk of urgent care plans

Despite information presented by Piedmont Newnan Hospital executives to Coweta business and industry officials last summer, hospital represe ... Read More

First Coweta recipients of REACH scholarship recognized

Two Coweta eighth graders were recognized by Georgia first lady Sandra Deal, as they became the first recipients in the Coweta County School ... Read More

Emissions scandal affects VW stocks

The U.S. Environmental Protection Division has had the technology to identify citizens falsifying emissions tests for the past 10 years, but ... Read More