LEXINGTON, Ky (LEX 18) A multi-state counterfeit ring has hit the Commonwealth, casting a wide net at various Lexington, Louisville, and Scott County businesses.
"When you start totaling up the transactions we’ve seen, all the money that’s been passed, it’s probably to the tune of around 30 grand," said Detective Mark Thomas with the Lexington Police Department. "They worked their way down from D.C, down to Maryland, to West Virginia and now they’re in Kentucky."
Detective Thomas said that they are turning one dollar bills into hundreds and then using the fake bills to pay for goods and services. Police have footage of a person they believe is one of many who are likely involved in the scam.
“In this instance, we know that this person is trafficking the cash. we believe it’ll lead us back to where it’s originating," he said. "This is a very amateur process and what they’ll do is take a one dollar bill, bleach it then go back, and take a high-resolution copy of a 100 dollar bill and reprint it."
Thomas said that the process makes it almost impossible for merchants to recognize the fake money.
"In this sense, this is cash that they were printed on, so the pen is not going to pick that up," he said.
Thomas said that while the ring is smart enough to know to avoid making cash deposits.
"The bank picks up on it right away they’re gonna know immediately that that serial number is not consistent,” he said.
If you have any information that could lead to an arrest, your tip could get you a cash reward from Bluegrass Crime Stoppers. You can call in your tip at (859) 253-2020 or text your information to ‘CRIMES’, just put ‘LEX P-D’ in the message, along with your tip.