State agencies can now prosecute counterfeit cases

Local

A new state law could bring charges to more people responsible for passing the fake cash.

Phong Nguyen, a local business owner, says, “It seems like there has been a rash of it happening. Every other day it seems like someone is reporting something about getting fake money.”

Whether it’s a $10, a $20 or more, Nguyen will be the first to tell.

“We got a fake $100 bill yesterday at one of our sister grocery stores,” he says. “It literally said for motion picture purposes only.”    

“You kind of want to question whether they can read english or not,” Phong adds.

That was at another business Nguyen works at. But at Super Laundry he suspects several people have tried passing out the fake cash this week alone.

“Legally you can confiscate that bill and report it to police and have police come pick it up,” Nguyen says.

But all to often he says they lose.

“Every dollar hurts and every penny counts,” he says.

Usually he says all they can do is report the crime and hope for the best.

It is pretty helpless,” Phong says. “You either confiscated it and told them, and explained to them, what the repercussions is of passing fake money.”

It is a felony charge. Before July 1st, 2018,  it was a matter handled by the Secret Service and prosecuted at a federal level, but a new Kansas law now allows local police and state agencies to arrest and charge for counterfeit currency.

“That is a great thing and hopefully that is a great deterrent. If the word gets out that people are getting arrested for passing out fake money, hopefully it slows down things a little bit,” he says.

Phone believes the new law will help him see less fake bills.

“The more people they can bust the better,” he says.

Since the new change, Wichita police say they have had 148 cases of counterfeit money and product reported.
 

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