Suspect in custody after counterfeit $100 bills hit Mount Horeb

Police: Case may be connected to others in area

A suspect is in custody for allegedly using counterfeit $100 bills in Mount Horeb, according to police.

A news release from the police department said the suspect passed at least five $100 counterfeit bills in the village around Oct. 15 to 18, all with the serial number B03236423A. The bills were printed on real currency paper, so they are able to pass the marker test.

Police said the case may be connected to other counterfeit cases in the surrounding area and were not able to provide the name of the suspect or other information as the case is under investigation. The suspect is facing five counts of forgery in Dane County.

“Well, $100 for me, it’s a lot of money,” said Mary Hanson, owner of Mary’s Coffee Express in Mount Horeb.

She isn’t prepared to take a hit from a counterfeit bill, especially after one was used at Cenex, which just moved out of the same building as the coffee shop.

“They told us our pen that we had for detecting counterfeit bills wouldn’t work anymore, and I thought, ‘uh oh,'” Hanson said. “I would be annoyed, you know, and feel like I was taken.”

It’s not just Mount Horeb. Stoughton police Detective Allen Adams said this year, counterfeit bills have run rampant throughout Dane County and the state.

“The old technology for checking $100 bills we’re finding isn’t working anymore as well,” Adams said. “Criminals have come up with a clever way to get around the marker test.”

Adams said criminals print $100 images over bleached $1 bills so they can pass the test, and other ways to detect that sort of counterfeit money are more expensive.

Bills with Chinese lettering or ones for motion picture use only have also turned up in local businesses.

“Take your time and the clues will become apparent to you,” Adams said, adding that it can be difficult for those behind the register.

“That’s why the criminals are usually targeting a place that’s high volume, that you have a long line of people behind waiting for you to go through safety checks for bills,” Adams said.

“I think, ‘What could I do to prevent that?'” Hanson said. “The obvious thing is just don’t accept $100 bills.”

That’s the new policy at Mary’s Coffee Express, and Hanson suggests other small businesses consider doing the same.

“We are just too small to take that risk,” she said.

Adams said the sooner businesses are able to report a counterfeit bill, the better chance police have of finding the suspect.

In its release, the Mount Horeb Police Department reminded business owners that they have the right to refuse large currency.

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