Secret Service Investigating Counterfeit Money Operation in Rochester

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC)- The Secret Service is investigating a counterfeit money operation in Rochester.

According to police, fake 20-dollar bills have been circulating around Monroe and surrounding counties for months. The Secret Service obtained numerous fake bills with the same identifiers raising suspicions that someone was manufacturing currency.

Shawn O’Mara, an officer in the Gates Police Department said the public should be concerned. I asked him on a scale of one to 10 how much of a concern the fake money was, 10 being the most concern. 

O’Mara responded, “Probably an 8 because 20’s are common used currency.”

O’Mara said in the last few months the Gates Police Department has seen numerous cases involving counterfeit 20-dollar bills. The fake money is turning up in restaurants and clothing stores around the region so the chances of an innocent shopper ending up with the fake money is high.  He said there are ways to spot the fake cash.

“The ink, the texture of the paper, how light it is,” O’Mara said. “The paper obviously you can tell a real 20-dollar bill is going to be a little darker green.”

Peter Gines, the owner of Jines restaurant on Park Avenue said he never checks to see if 20-dollar bills are fake.

“Do you normally look at 20 dollar bills? No,” Gines said. “Usually you look closer at 50 or 100- dollar bills, you take your pen out you mark it. 20-dollar bills you kind of look at as ones, fives and tens…that denomination.” 

Gines said he will be looking closer when customers pay with twenties.

The Secret Service wouldn’t comment on how many people are involved in this counterfeit operation or how close they are to arresting the person/persons.

If you find yourself in possession of fake money, you are asked to hand it over to your local police department.

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