Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Fake Fifty Fail: Terrible Person Gives Counterfeit Bill to Charity Lemonade Stand

If you had counterfeit fifty dollar bills, what would you buy? A basketful of groceries? Some new clothes? All the Taco Bell you can eat?

Or maybe you're worried that a big business will recognize your fake money, so you look for an unsuspecting rube to exchange your counterfeit $50 for smaller, real bills. Maybe that little girl running a lemonade stand to raise money for Alzheimer's research. If that's what you're thinking, congratulations -- you are a terrible person.

Despicable Currency

The Monroe News has the sad tale of fourth-grader Maya Leachman, who was selling lemonade to fund Alzheimer's research for her grandfather who is suffering from the disease. According to her mother, at one point a man rode up on a black bicycle and handed her a note saying he was deaf. He also handed her a $50 bill and asked for change. Leachman said no one gave it a second thought at the time, but discovered the bill was bogus while counting the donations at the end of the day.

"It's sad because the money was going to a good cause," Maya said, "I was a little mad." Her mother was mad, too. "I was upset my child had to see that side of humanity," she told the Monroe News. "It's just sad that you have to teach your child that you can't trust everybody."

Note No-Nos

According to authorities, this isn't the first time fake fifties have been passed in the Monroe area. Several area establishments have reported counterfeit cash being passed through their tills, and they all have something in common: they look real, except for the words "for motion picture use only." Law enforcement thinks someone got ahold of some old movie props. Monroe Police Department Cpl. Terese Herrick called it "the lowest of the low." "Hopefully," she added, "we'll be able to get him." If local police don't, the federal government might. Passing counterfeit currency is a federal crime, and can get the offender 20 years in prison.

Young Maya appears undaunted. "I'm not gonna let it stop me," the girl said, and her drive for Alzheimer's funds has gone beyond the lemonade stand is online.

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