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Funny money passed around town

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Two people arrested on counterfeiting charges

By Lisa King

Two people have been arrested on counterfeit charges, accused of passing fake currency in Shelbyville and Simpsonville.

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Wesley S. Cecil, 28, and Brandy Elaine Rion, 29, both of Louisville, are charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument, a Class C felony, which carries a penalty of 5 to 10 years in prison.

Shelbyville Police Chief Robert Schutte said that they are accused of passing counterfeit money on eight separate occasions at local businesses during the first week of April.

Police say that on April 4, Rion pulled up to the drive-through window at Dairy Queen on Midland Trail and paid for her order with two counterfeit $20 bills.

Then, at 11:30 p.m. on April 5,  a woman attempted to pass two $20 bills at the Pilot Truck Stop in Simpsonville. She later was identified as Rion.

Police say that she had worked at Pilot previously and was well-known by her coworkers.

The police report on Cecil said that he, along with Rion, passed counterfeit money, and that the pair were in possession of a color printer as well as counterfeit money.

“We tracked them down and seized the printer and the counterfeit twenty-dollar bills,” Schutte said.

Although the pair was arrested in Shelbyville, they printed the money in Louisville, where they are also suspected of passing counterfeit money, Shelbyville Police Sgt. Richard Babier said.

Schutte added that the bills were of poor quality, as is the case with most counterfeit money.

“You can tell a difference in the way it feels in most cases,” Schutte said. “Also, the print is not as clear as with real money.”

Babier, who assisted in the investigation, said counterfeit money feels different because it’s just printed on regular paper. Real money contains a percentage of fabric.

“Real money is part linen, so it’s actually cloth,” he said. “Also, since counterfeit money is printed on paper, the ink will smear if it gets wet; that’s another way you can tell it’s fake.”

Schutte said if merchants suspect they have been given counterfeit money, they should call the police immediately, and try to get a good description of the suspect and their vehicle, especially the license plate number.

He added that any bills that turn out to be counterfeit are lost revenue to those who received them.

“The bank is not allowed to reimburse anybody who has received counterfeit money,” he said.

Also, if someone suspects they have fake money and tries to spend it, they also could incur charges.

Police say that Cecil waived his constitutional rights and gave a statement to police regarding his involvement in the crime.

Both he and Rion are lodged in the Shelby County Detention Center under a $10,000 cash bond.

The pair are scheduled to appear in Shelby District Court at 2 p.m. Thursday.