MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Baldwin County sheriff's deputies are looking for a man who say spent thousands of dollars using fake $100 bills.
Captain Brad King tells 41 NBC the suspect bought $4,700 worth of money orders from several different locations Thursday afternoon. According to witnesses, the suspect was buying the money orders to pay his rent.
King says he hit four different stores Thursday afternoon. He bought a $900 money order from the Jet 44 in Eatonton, $900 from the Jet 69 in Milledgeville, $2,100 from the Flash Foods in Milledgeville, and $800 from the Wal-Mart in Milledgeville.
King says the counterfeit bills are high quality. They pass the counterfeit pen test and money counter. They also have the watermark, magnetic strip and fibers found on real bills. The cash didn't raise any red flags and he was able to get away with the scam until a bank teller discovered the money was fake.
"It would have gone unnoticed even more I believe if the clerks at the bank were not as sharp as they were," King said. "Little tricks that you pick up along the way handling money for years and years paid off because that is exactly what led us to this counterfeit."
King says the sheriff's office is working with the Secret Service. These bills are part of a much bigger nationwide counterfeit operation.
"For each bill that we have, for each individual serial number, there is 1,000 copies of that particular bill [that has] either been recovered or in circulation in 20 different states, so we're looking at a very, very large operation," King said.
King warns businesses to keep an eye out for this criminal. He doesn't believe Milledgeville will be his only stop.
"We're talking about a lot of money that was easy to get. I find it hard to believe that that one trip down through Milledgeville was the only one that's been made," King said.
The suspect is described as a black male in his mid-20s to early 30s. Surveillance video shows the same suspect at all four locations. King says he is driving a gray Nissan Maxima.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office at (478) 445-4891.