Counterfeit money season heating up in Tulsa

Thursday, November 18th 2004, 9:51 am
By: News On 6

This is the season for busy stores and restaurants, long lines and temporary help. Fertile ground for the passing of counterfeit money.

As News on 6 reporter Rick Wells explains, one Tulsa restaurant already knows all about it.

"We got hit twice in one week." Rob Aloisio owns Abruzzi an Italian restaurant in the Kings Point Shopping Center, two fake $100’s and two fake $50’s at one restaurant and another $100 and $50 at another restaurant in Brookside. "During the holidays, more and more of this is going happen around town."

He must have been listening in on my discussion with Sergeant Tony Celino of the Tulsa Police Department. He said the same thing. Tulsa Police Sgt Tony Celino: "What happens this time of year you've got long lines and a bunch of temporary help." The perfect opportunity to try to get away with passing some phony money.

Celino lined up different denominations of currency, real and counterfeit and it was very difficult at first glance to recognize the bad money.

Lots of businesses use those currency pens, but Celino says they can be fooled. Counterfeit operations have been down but they pick up this time of every year, so what are you gonna do? Aloisio: "We've had extensive training on money. I've trained our wait staff on what to look for."

Happy holidays, but watch out for the counterfeit cash. Sergeant Celino tells the News on 6, the counterfeit season may be heating up. They have already had a dozen reports of fake money being circulated at fast food restaurants in Tulsa.