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The term funny money is now anything but for a Lawrenceburg man arrested last week for allegedly having nearly $2,000 in fake cash.
Daniel Hamill, 23, of 1014 Mackland Drive was charged with 23 counts of first-degree possession of a forged instrument for allegedly having nearly $2,000 in counterfeit money in his possession.
Each of the 23 counts is a Class C felony.
Lawrenceburg police were assisted in the investigation by the US Secret Service.
Hamill, who reportedly had nine outstanding warrants, was pulled over last week by Officer Jeremy Cornish. When Cornish searched his car, he said he found $1,800 in counterfeit money under the seat, including 16 $100 bills, two $50 bills and five $20 bills.
“He has been suspected of counterfeiting for some time, now,” Cornish said. “This time we caught him red-handed.”
Last week’s five-day visit by the Secret Service wasn’t the first time the federal agency had been in Lawrenceburg to help investigate Hamill. Cornish said the agency was also here in March for two days.
“Sgt. Chad Powell had an open case and the Secret Service came in for that,” Cornish said. “I helped execute a search warrant on a residence he was affiliated with. He has been suspected of counterfeiting for some time.”
Cornish declined to offer details on where Hamill allegedly got the phony bills, or if he was involved in printing them.
“Let me put it this way,” Cornish said, “he was just being watched.”
Area businesses have been receiving several denominations of counterfeit money for the past year, Cornish said, including fake 10-, 20- and 100-dollar bills.
He said the Prime Star convenience store on Bluebird Court was the latest victim, having received a fake bill just last week.
Cornish said he has already been able to pin passing that bill on Hamill.
“The serial numbers on that bill matched some of the serial numbers I caught him with,” he said.
Cornish said there have been more than a dozen complaints from businesses that have received counterfeit bills during the past year. He said all businesses should be cautious when accepting cash, and encourages them to mark 20s, 50s and 100s with a special pen to verify their authenticity.
“There’s also a color shift mechanism in those bills,” he said.
Anyone who suspects they have received counterfeit money is encouraged to call police immediately, Cornish said.
Hamill was already scheduled to appear Thursday in Anderson County District Court on cold check charges.
He also faces a charge for probation violation and third-degree possession of a controlled substance.
E-mail Ben Carlson at firstname.lastname@example.org.