The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

September 9, 2013

Counterfeit bills passed in area

By Brandi Underwood
Register-Herald Reporter

— Several counterfeit large-denomination bills were distributed in the Oak Hill area recently, according to a release from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office.

Two area females reported Saturday that they had been at The Spotlight night club in Oak Hill Friday night, Aug. 30 and met four young black males who were freely handing out $100 and $50 bills to “all of the pretty girls” in the bar, as well as paying for drinks with $20 bills. Suspicious of the gifted bills, the women took them to a convenience store the following day to check their authenticity. After confirming the bills were counterfeit, the women reported their existence to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, which further investigated before contacting the U.S. Secret Service to inform them of the incident.

Investigators from the sheriff’s office spoke with representatives from The Spotlight night club Saturday night but reportedly received little cooperation. The operator of the bar said the men had not been in the bar and the club received no counterfeit money, the release stated.

The suspects are described as four young black males, possibly in their mid- to late 20s. They were seen driving a light blue Hyundai Sonata, possibly a rental, with either North Carolina or South Carolina plates. The suspects told the two women they were visiting from South Carolina and staying with family members at Pine Knoll Apartment Complex in Oak Hill.

Fayette County Sheriff Steve Kessler said it is quite common for individuals to travel to pass counterfeit money away from their local areas, but it is possible the men involved may be from the area and had been pretending to be “high rollers.”

“Local businesses should be alert for any counterfeit money that individuals may be attempting to pass in the area,” said Kessler. “Cashiers and other individuals receiving money, particularly large denomination bills including $100 bills, $50 bills and $20 bills, should make sure these bills are genuine.”

The incident remains under investigation by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Secret Service. Anyone with information about the investigation is asked to call the Fayette County 911 Center at 304-574-3590.