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Counterfeit bills found in Fulton;SF woman charged

Counterfeit bills found in Fulton;SF woman charged

Posted: Monday, April 20, 2009 9:03 pm

 A South Fulton woman was charged after counterfeit $20 bills were discovered Sunday at a Fulton store. Paula Cavitt, 52, of 306 Oak St., South Fulton, was charged with five counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument, according to a Fulton Police Department press release. Fulton police officers were summoned Sunday to the Walmart store in Fulton in reference to some possible counterfeit $20 bills. Information gathered by police revealed Ms. Cavitt allegedly had attempted to purchase a money order with five counterfeit $20 bills. She informed officers she was attempting to purchase the money order to pay her electric bill. Upon further questioning, Ms. Cavitt would not reveal to officers where she obtained the counterfeit bills, according to the press release. She was arrested and processed at the Fulton Police Department before being transported to the Fulton County (Ky.) Detention Center. Earlier in the weekend, Fulton police had issued a warning to local businesses regarding counterfeit $20 bills possibly being passed in Fulton and had opened an investigation into the allegation. Passing a known counterfeit bill is a federal offense punishable by jail time and fines, according to authorities. Anyone who finds they are in possession of a fake bill or who receives one from someone else should report it to their nearest law enforcement agency or Secret Service office. Fulton police have provided these tips for detecting counterfeit bills: • Feel the bill. Most people who handle money a lot (i.e., cashiers) can identify a lower-quality fake bill instantly just by touching it. Genuine currency has slightly-raised ink that is produced in the intaglio printing process. The texture of the ink should be felt, particularly on a crisp new bill. • Compare the bill with another of the same denomination and series. Different denominations look different, so get a note of the same amount. Plus, all denominations except the $1 and $2 bills have been redesigned at least once since 1990, so it’s best to compare the suspect bill to one in the same series (date). • Look for colored strands in the paper. All U.S. bills have tiny red and blue fibers embedded in the paper. Counterfeiters sometimes try to reproduce these by printing these strands onto the paper, but close examination will reveal they are printed on rather than being part of the paper itself. • Hold it up to the light and look at the watermark. The watermark portrait should match the printed one. • Examine the serial numbers. Make sure the serial numbers on a bill match and look at them carefully. Fake bills may have serial numbers that are not evenly spaced or not perfectly aligned in a row. If you received more than one suspicious bill, see if the serial numbers are the same on both bills — that’s a dead giveaway they are counterfeits. Published in The Messenger 4.20.09