Ashland teen accused of passing counterfeit bills

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

ASHLAND, VA (WWBT) - An Ashland teenager says she had no idea the cash she tried to use to buy gas was fake! But now she's charged with a felony. Her mom called us to ask for help.

18-year-old Megan Seifert is accused of passing two counterfeit twenty dollar bills. She says she couldn't tell they were fake. It's something you have to pay close attention to. If your cash is fake, it's worthless.

Aside from training horses, Megan Seifert hoped to land a retail job for the holidays. But fears that won't happen now.

"He was like, 'I've seen monopoly money better than this' and I was like, 'monopoly money doesn't look like real money,'" said Seifert.

Seifert says that's what a cop told her at the East Coast in Ashland where she stopped for gas. Seifert says the clerk confiscated the two twenties her mom gave her.

"She just like looked at me like I was crazy and marked both the twenties with the marker and told me they were fake," said Seifert.

Seifert paid with other cash and left, but then later found herself in handcuffs.

"He says he doesn't believe me and says I knew it was fake and that I was trying to spend it and then he arrested me," said Seifert.

Seifert's mom, Elizabeth Fink, believes she got the fake twenties as change at the Virginia State Fair.

"We played games, we bought lots of food, and even though I used my bank card I also had cash, and I know I had 50 dollar bills," said Fink.

Ashland police say it's unusual for most people to come across counterfeit money, but it does happen, especially during summer travel.

"It is your responsibility to inspect the money to make sure you're not carrying or passing a counterfeit bill," said Ashland Police Lt. James Shelhorse.

Checking your cash is as simple as buying one of those counterfeit detector pens. You simply draw a line on the bill. If it turns yellow it's okay, if it's brown then it may be a fake. Fink inspects her cash now, but thinks it's too little too late.

"It just torn me apart and I feel like it's going to ruin my daughter's life," said Fink.

The counterfeit money was turned over to the Secret Service to see if there's a pattern. Seifert is charged with uttering counterfeit bills, a class four felony. She could face two to 10 years if convicted. She goes to court next week.

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