Woman gets old money after cashing check, charged with forgery

By Laura Ann Sills - bioemail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Imagine that you have just enjoyed a meal at a local restaurant.  The manager comes over and says you have paid with a counterfeit bill.  This is what happened to Harris County resident Tori Lassiter.  She explained, "I was completely humiliated of course because I did not know what she was talking about."

Lassiter took her paycheck to be cashed at a local store.  She noticed some of the bills were older, but thought money is money.  Lassiter "paid with one of the 20's and they proceeded to tell me it was counterfeit."  She was charged with forgery and the $140 in 20's was confiscated by the police.

Lassiter says not only was she embarrassed; she was upset with the company that gave her the suspected fakes.

But, in a turn of her fate, Columbus Detectives reviewed the money and determined the money was not counterfeit at all, just very old. Some of the bills were from the 1934 and 1950 series. Lassiter's charges were dropped and she is exchanging them at the bank for newer bills.

But, her story can be a lesson for everyone. Jay O'Connell owns O'Connell Coins and Jewelry, he explained, "the 34, 35, and 50 series are completely different than today's bills. Younger people are not quite used to this currency like the older generation."

How can you keep this from happening to you?  O'Connell's advice would be to go to the bank or the police if you have any concerns about money you have received.  He said, "There is so much counterfeiting going on.  Counterfeiters are getting more and more professional with it, so they have to keep changing the design to keep one step ahead."

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