Sparta police warn residents of counterfeit currency

by | April 9, 2018 6:12 am

Sparta Police Department is investigating several incidents that have occurred in the city involving counterfeit $100 bills.

Two incidents have occurred within the past two months involving counterfeit currency, according to Doug Goff, Sparta police investigator.

One incident occurred at the Peacock Express Convenience Store when an individual attempted to pass three $100 bills. That individual has been identified, and charges are pending.

Another recent incident involved an individual who stated he cashed his payroll check at a local business and received a counterfeit $100 in the process.

Sparta Police Department is urging residents to be alert in reference to their currency and when receiving new currency.

Counterfeit money is currency produced without the legal sanction of the state or government. Producing or using counterfeit money is a form of fraud or forgery.

An individual who is in possession of counterfeit currency and who uses it is in violation of criminal simulation (T.C.A. 39-14-115): “who with the intent to defraud or harm another, makes or alters an object, in whole or in part so that it appears to have value because of age, antiquity, rarity, source of authorship, that it does not have an object so made or altered, with intent to sell, pass, or otherwise utter it authenticates or certifies an object so made or altered as genuine or as difference from what it is.”

Using or manufacturing counterfeit money is considered criminal fraud and can be punishable by a fine of $15,000 (more in larger counterfeit cases) and/or a prison sentence of up to 15 years.

The following tips have been provided by Sparta Police Department to help residents be familiar with what authentic money looks like and to help them determine fakes.

-Authentic currency is made from cotton and linen fibers, which differ greatly from normal paper from trees.

-Real money should be crisp despite its age, as normal paper becomes torn and soft when worn.

-Genuine currency has slightly raised ink that can be felt – run your fingernail across the portrait’s vest on the bill to feel the raised ink – counterfeiters cannot reproduce this

-Authentic money is thinner in paperweight

-The outside border on real money will be clear and unbroken

-Tilt the bill to examine the color-shifting ink – color shifting ink is ink that appears to change color when the bill is tilted and found on $100, $50, and $20 dollar bills dated 1996 or later and $10 dollar bills dated 1999 or later

If someone is in possession of a bill and is unsure of its authenticity, contact law enforcement authorities.

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