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Funny money still being found in Walsenburg

HUERFANO — The passing of the holiday season has not stopped the passing of counterfeit currency around the Walsenburg area. Walsenburg Police Chief Tommie McLallen told the Huerfano World Journal this week local businesses and bank continue to report finding counterfeit bills. McLallen said the most often found counterfeits lately are $20 and $10 bills, although one $50 was discovered in the last two weeks. In addition to local law enforcement, the United States Secret Service office in Denver, along with the Colorado Division of Gaming (part of the state department of revenue) have filed reports. In the instance of the gaming police, currency traced back to Walsenburg was found at a Cripple Creek casino. No arrests have been made locally, although authorities continue to work all of the active cases. The serial numbers of the confiscated counterfeit notes have all been forwarded to the secret service, and some of those turning up recently are different from those found around the holidays, but authorities are still working a local angle in the cases. While the forgers may have changed the serial numbers on the phony bills, the ink and paper quality of the counterfeits should be noticeable to anyone accustomed to handling cash. “We’re still getting a couple of calls a week for counterfeits,” said McLallen Monday. Police urge all residents and business owners to carefully check their paper money and to notify them immediately when a suspect bill is found. McLallen reminds citizens and business owners they could be technically in violation of federal law (possession of counterfeit currency) if they do not turn in any counterfeit notes they have received. “I suggest they test mark every bill they take in,” McLallen said, as even fake $1 bills were recovered from businesses late last year. McLallen suggests businesses train employees to spot counterfeit currency and to use anti-counterfeit measures such as marking pens. The color of the ink from the pens change color from a yellow to a light brown when applied to a counterfeit note. More information concerning how to detect counterfeit currency is available on the US Secret Service website.

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