Arrests made as counterfeit bills hit county
McCreary County, along with surrounding areas, have been hit recently with a proliferation of counterfeit $20 bills, McCreary County Sheriff Randy Waters reports.
By Greg Bird
The Sheriff is urging citizens and businesses to be wary when accepting bills, as several of the bills appear to be legitimate, even to trained eyes.
The Sheriff suggests businesses to be sure to mark the entirety of the bill with a counterfeit detecting pen. If the ink turns black, people are urged to contact the Sheriff’s office (606) 376-2322.
Some of the bills may have Chinese markings in red ink on the face, or the word “copy” concealed somewhere on the bill. Though they appear to be authentic on the surface, the bills do not have the security strip running near one of the edges.
Other ways to detect a phony bill is to look for the color shifting ink on the denomination in the bottom-right corner, red and blue threads woven (not printed) into the bill, raised printing (particularly on the portrait), and the embedded watermark.
A representative from United Cumberland Bank stated local branches have found several hundred dollars of the counterfeit bills in recent months. The bank has counterfeit marking pens available for customers and businesses for $5 and also advises customers who are concerned about the validity of any bills in their possession to bring the suspected money to the bank for verification. (By law, any counterfeit bills must be confiscated.)
On a positive note, the Sheriff’s Office may be making headway in to the case. Two arrests were made in separate incidents with individuals allegedly attempting to pass counterfeit bills Sunday.
Gene Paul Cooper, 53, of Whitley City and Kaitlyn Mounce, 18, of Strunk, were both arrested in separate incidents for allegedly attempting to pass phony money at local businesses.
According to the citations Strunk was arrested Sunday morning after allegedly attempting to pay for food at McDonalds with a counterfeit bill. Deputy Greg Chaney investigated and made the arrest.
In the other incident Cooper reportedly had passed two fake bills, both bearing the same serial number (JL22895911A) at the Dairy Cheer in Pine Knot on Sunday afternoon. Later that evening he attempted to pass a third bill at Fastway in Stearns, again with the same serial number. Deputy Alex Jones was alerted and went to the store and made an arrest.
Both were charged with counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument.