Wal-Mart Cashier Caught in Counterfeit Ring: Police

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Eight people were arrested in a scheme to distribute fake $20 bills to customers at the Wal-Mart in Baldensburg, Md. (Published Tuesday, Jun 21, 2011)

    If you shop at Wal-Mart in Landover Hills, Md., you may be circulating funny money. Police busted an suspected counterfeit currency ring after a cashier was accused of passing phony bills to unsuspecting customers.

    “With the advent of technology, the quality of these bills is amazing,” Prince George’s County Police Lt. Brad Pyle said.

    The counterfeit bills were printed in Capitol Heights and purchased by a group from Chicago at $30 per $100 bundle of counterfeit bills. The ring would take the counterfeit bills to the Wal-Mart in Landover Hills and purchase prepaid Visa cards from a woman who worked there. The members of the ring would turn the Visa cards in to cash, and the cashier would pass the fake bills to customers as change on their purchases.

    “It was not only a good way to get the bills into circulation, but it was also a good way to wash the money and get it away from the people involved in the scheme,” Pyle said.

    But the cashier got sloppy and allowed some of the bills to get into her register. Back in the counting room, Wal-Mart security discovered the counterfeit bills, which police said would be extremely tough for a customer to detect.

    “You slip that in with a couple of $20 bills -- real ones -- and you’d never know the difference,” Pyle said.

    Police have arrested several people in the case.