(Jonesboro, AR) Funny money is floating around Jonesboro, Arkansas.
It’s already landed one man behind bars and sent another into hiding.
So far the counterfeit bills have turned up in two places.
But Jonesboro Detective Jason Simpkins says there could be more victims because the fake money looks so real, “If you feel the bill it is real, its real currency. But it’s not a hundred-dollar bill.”
Crumpled counterfeit bills were circulating around Jonesboro until police connected the “funny money” to Ervin Frazier.
Now Detective Simpkins says Frazier is behind bars and in big trouble, “It’s forgery in the first degree. In the State of Arkansas it’s a class B felony that carries five to twenty years in prison.”
Police say Frazier and Dennis Burgess, who is still on the run, altered five dollar bills to look like hundred-dollar bills. And they did a pretty convincing job, “At first glance, if you looked at the money, you would think that it was real. If you mark it with a pen, it will show to be real. You’re not going to notice it’s counterfeit unless you hold it up to a light.”
The difference is the “watermark” on a hundred-dollar bill should be Benjamin Franklin’s image.
But on the fake money it’s Abraham Lincoln’s.
One of the phony hundred’s ended up at the Ole Town Mall April 8th.
The clerk noticed the “watermark” discrepancy and called police, but it was too late to catch the man.
Another counterfeit hundred was found at a Dollar General store the next day.
No one at either business wanted to talk on camera.
But Sunny Maness, the owner of a local consignment store, said he’s dealt with his share of people passing bogus bucks, “I have had the twenties brought to me in counterfeit about seven or eight times, about two years ago. But this year we’re checking everything.”
Jonesboro Police say Frazier and Burgess may have also passed phony hundred-dollar bills in Harrisburg, Arkansas.
Ervin Frazier heads to court in May.