Counterfeit bill passed at Lakeville restaurant

Businesses risk loss if they accept fake money

A business owner has reported a fake $20 bill was recently passed at his Lakeville restaurant.

Mark Bloomquist, CEO of Macyn Food Enterprises LLC, reported the bill being used Sept. 5 at his Little Caesars Restaurant on Kenwood Avenue; it was discovered as a fake by bank employees.

“It looked and felt very real,” Bloomquist said in an email. “They must have washed real bills to make them. They were good enough to pass the counterfeit pen.”

Interim Lakeville police Chief John Kormann said counterfeiters often use printers and scanners to transform real bills into fakes with a higher denomination.

The type of counterfeit bill passed at Bloomquist’s restaurant can be detected by holding it up to the light because it lacks the thin strip containing text that spells out the bill’s denomination, Lakeville Chamber of Commerce President Todd Bornhauser told business owners in a fraud alert he emailed Monday.

He said the fake bills also lack the watermark of real bills.

Counterfeit bills have also been passed in Faribault, just south of Lakeville, where Bloomquist also owns a restaurant.

A Faribault Chamber of Commerce representative said there have been $5 bills and $20 bills passed several times over the past few months.

Kormann said there have been a few reports of counterfeits in Lakeville, with the most recent one reported about three weeks ago.

“Predominantly, it’s the 20s, 100s and 50s that are counterfeited,” Kormann said, “If you go to all that work to make a counterfeit, they generally make it in a denomination that makes it worth while. When we have seen smaller ones, a lot of times, it’s kids with a computer.”

Manufacture of counterfeit United States currency is a federal crime and is punishable by a fine or up to 15 years in prison, according to the U.S. Secret Service Agency.

The Secret Service advises anyone receiving a counterfeit bill to keep the note for police, delay the passer if possible and get a description of the person, any companions and their vehicle.

Businesses are also advised by the organization to write their initials and date in the white border of the suspect note, limit handling of it and put it in an envelope before turning it in for evidence.

The loss counterfeiting creates is the burden of the business owner.

“We’re out the 20 bucks,” Bloomquist said.