RMS student arrested with phony money
A 13-year-old Russellville Middle School student was arrested Monday after trying to pass a counterfeit $10 bill at the school.
Officials said the teen apparently produced the bill at his home over the weekend on a computer and tried using the bill to pay for his lunch.
School officials turned the teen over to police who charged him with first-degree possession of a forged instrument. The charge is a Class B felony punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Investigators said there has been an increase in the use of counterfeit money in recent weeks.
Russellville Police Chief Chris Hargett said two counterfeit bills were passed at Listerhill Credit Union and one counterfeit bill was passed at a local gas station.
"We are seeing more counterfeit bills than usual in the area, and people need to be aware of them," Hargett said.
Hargett said a fake $100 bill and $20 bill were passed at Listerhill and another fake $20 bill at the gas station.
"Since we are seeing more counterfeit than usual, it could be a direct tie to the economy," Hargett said.
Hargett said consumers need to be aware of the bills that are being passed.
"Real money has security features that aren't available on fake money," Hargett said. "You need to look for these features when accepting money."
The United States Secret Service shows the important features on a legal note on their website. The secret service asks consumers to look for the following: treasury seal, letter and face plate number, back plate numbers, color shifting ink, watermark, federal reserve seal, serial number, portrait, and fine-line printing.
For more information, visit the Secret Service Web site at www.ustreas.gov/usss/money_features.