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Pinedale Online > News > October 2005 > Bogus $20s being passed in Sublette County

Funny Money. Photo by Graphic from the U.S. Secret Service website.
Funny Money
The bogus $20 bills are slightly smaller than authentic currency.
Bogus $20s being passed in Sublette County
Several local businesses hit last weekend
by Dawn Ballou
October 18, 2005

Several Sublette County businesses were hit over the weekend with counterfeit $20 dollar bills in their stores. The Boulder Store, Centerfire 66 and Daniel Junction all reported attempts to pass bogus currency last weekend. With the opening of elk hunting season, and the influx of so many new people related to the oil and gas boom in the county, last weekend was one of the busiest of the season for some businesses.

April Lippincott, owner of the Daniel Junction gas and convenience store, was notified by her bank of a counterfeit $20 in her deposit on Monday. "It was opening weekend of elk season. The bank made us aware of it. Thank God it was only one. Friday was our biggest day of the year." The Daniel Junction has video cameras recording customers at the cash register, and clerks are checking $20s, $50s and $100 bills that come through the store. "We’re checking all the bills," she said.

A clerk at Centerfire 66 gas and convenience store in Pinedale refused to accept a suspicious $20 bill from a customer over the weekend, according to owner Gwen Schwab. "It looked funny. It was a little smaller and the print was different," said Schwab. The employee confirmed the bill was counterfeit with a special counterfeit currency detection pen. The man who gave the clerk the questionable $20 bill was from Rock Springs, and reported he got it in change from the Boulder Store.

Donna Steele, owner of the Boulder Store, said apparently a customer gave them a $100 bill for purchases on Friday, and they unknowingly gave the customer the two counterfeit $20 bills, but did not realize it until a Sublette County Sheriff’s Office deputy contacted them after tracking the trail of the two counterfeit bills. Clerks now are double checking all bills that come through the store.

The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) issued a news release on Tuesday to make local businesses aware of recent counterfeit bills coming through the area. "The counterfeit money thus far has been $20 bills," said the release. According to Gwen Schwab of Centerfire 66, businesses in Rock Springs reportedly have seen counterfeit $20 and $100 dollar bills recently.

The SCSO reports that the counterfeit bills are smaller in size than legitimate bills, and lack the security features embedded in legitimate currency. The SCSO is asking any business that receives or locates a possible counterfeit bill to take the following action:
1. Do not return it to the passer.
2. Delay the passer if possible.
3. Observe the passer’s description, as well as that of any companions, and the license numbers of any vehicles used.
4. Contact the Sheriff’s office immediately.
5. Write your initials and the date in the white border area of the suspect note.
6. Limit the handling of the note. Carefully place it in a protective covering, such as an envelope.
7. Surrender the note or coin only to a Sheriff’s Office Deputy or a U.S. Secret Service special agent.

Counterfeit currency detection pens are available at Office Outlet in Pinedale and Big Piney. Barbara Henry, of Office Outlet in Big Piney, reported sales for the pens have been up for the past two to three months to business owners in Sublette County and LaBarge. Businesses wanting more information about the security features found in U.S. currency can contact the SCSO in Pinedale or Marbleton, or visit the Secret Service website at

Related Links:
How to Detect Counterfeit Money (US Secret Service)
Know your money (US Secret Service)

Pinedale Online > News > October 2005 > Bogus $20s being passed in Sublette County

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