Nov 28, 2007, 12:19 PM
Man Tries to Deposit Fake $1,000,000 Bill - Of Course He Gets Arrested
By KAREN DAILY
The Aiken County Sheriff's Office arrested an Augusta man Monday on allegations he tried to open a bank account with a counterfeit 1,000,000 bill, officials said.
Alexander D. Smith, 31, of the 500 block of Fairhope Street in Augusta is charged with disorderly conduct and two counts of forgery.
About 12:30 p.m., a man presented the counterfeit bill to a teller at Regions, in Clearwater, said Aiken County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Lt. Michael Frank.
The employee refused to accept the bill and called the sheriff's office, at which time the man began to curse at employees.
Upon further investigation, deputies learned the man had purchased several cartons of cigarettes with a stolen check Sunday night from a nearby grocery store.
He tried again Monday to make a purchase from the store, but the manager refused to accept the check, Frank said.
In Pittsburgh last month a man shopping at a grocery store tried to pass a 1 million bill to a cashier, but the employee also refused the bill and a manager confiscated the bogus bill, according to press accounts at the time.
That man also flew into a rage, Pennsylvania police said at the time. He subsequently arrested the man, who was not carrying identification and had refused to give his name to authorities.
The largest denomination of currency ever printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) was the 100,000 Series 1934 Gold Certificate featuring the portrait of President Wilson, Frank stated in a press release.
Investigators seize $1M bill, question origin
By KAREN DAILY
Investigators say they don't know where an Augusta man picked up the much-publicized $1 million bill that he tried to open a bank account with but added that it has been seized and is now in police custody.
Alexander D. Smith, of the 500 block of Fairhope Street in Augusta, was charged with forgery after the 31-year-old man presented the counterfeit bill to a teller at Regions Bank in Clearwater Monday afternoon, said Aiken County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Michael Frank.
The bogus bill, however, is actually a religious tract, according to national media reports.
Last year, the Secret Service became involved in a North Carolina investigation after a bank customer there tried to deposit one of the phony bills.
Agents tracked the bill to a Denton, Texas-based ministry where they'd found more than 8,000 of the Grover Cleveland bills.
In June of last year, a federal judge in Dallas decided it was appropriate for the Secret Service to seize the tracts, despite the ministry's opposition.
The government argued that the bills are the same size as Federal Reserve notes, use a portrait of President Grover Cleveland and have the distinctive peach-and-green coloring of new currency, as reported by the Dallas Morning News in 2006.
At the time, an attorney working on behalf of the ministry argued that no one would make the mistake of thinking the money is legal tender, calling the possibility "absurd."
However, the money was attempted to be passed in Pittsburgh last month and then again in Clearwater this week.
The employees in Pennsylvania and in Clearwater, however, refused to accept the bills.
The largest denomination of currency ever printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) was the $100,000 Series 1934 Gold Certificate featuring the portrait of President Woodrow Wilson, Frank stated in a press release.
Contact Karen Daily at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nov 28, 2007 12:19 PM
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