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Johnson County has faced an unusually high number of counterfeit money cases in recent years, and Paintsville Police Chief Mike Roe said clerks in Eastern Kentucky need to be vigilant.

Roe said in cases PPD has investigated, the money is being purchased online from websites that sell it for use in movies and TV shows. The cash is typically fairly realistic, but will typically say it is only for “motion picture purposes.” Some bills, Roe said, even have noticeable writing on them in Japanese or Chinese.

One way these individuals are more successfully passing the fake movie money off is by bundling it in amongst real money.

“It’s even harder to notice if it’s just one of three $20 bills,” Roe said.

Other individuals have approached law enforcement after receiving the money in change after it was unknowingly accepted from a customer.

Anyone caught trying to pass off the fake money, however, will face very real punishment.

“The charge is typically criminal possession of a forged instrument, a Class D felony, one to five years (in prison),” Roe said.

Those who believe they may be dealing with someone passing off such counterfeit money is urged to get information about the suspected perpetrator, or at least a clear description if possible, and contact the Paintsville Police Department at, (606) 789-2603 or the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office at, (606) 789-3411.

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