News Flash

Police Department News - 2019

Posted on: July 10, 2019

ACCPD Arrests Three for Counterfeit Currency


On July 9, officers responded to a Forgery incident at 1143 King Avenue. Employees of a food truck at the location indicated that a white female had passed multiple counterfeit $20 bills during the day. Officers located and detained Athens’ resident Jennifer Pittman (44) at the scene. 

The information led ACCPD’s Criminal Investigation Bureau to a hotel room at 1050 Ultimate Drive where two suspects were located. A subsequent search of the hotel room occupied by Matthew Smith (39) and Joseph Sanders (47,) both of Athens, obtained evidence that led detectives to believe that counterfeit currency was being printed.

Smith and Sanders were both charged with Forgery (2nd Degree.) Sanders was also charged with Giving a False Name. Pittman was charged with two counts of Forgery (1st Degree) for passing counterfeit currency and one count of Forgery (2nd Degree) for possessing counterfeit currency.

“Local businesses should train employees to be on the lookout for counterfeit currency, even in smaller denominations. Larger counterfeit bills, $50's and $100's, are often scrutinized more by employees and are often discovered, but smaller bills aren't scrutinized as much. The group we arrested on 7/9 and the recent spike in counterfeit cases over the last few months have primarily involved the passing of counterfeit $20 bills and evidence was located that the most recent counterfeiting groups were also producing even smaller denominations ($10). The suspects appear to be using these smaller denominations because they know that they aren't scrutinized near as much by employees at local businesses. The counterfeits we have recovered from these recent cases do not feel like actual currency and the watermarks are missing. A very cursory examination by employees would lead to less of these bills being passed,” said ACCPD Detective Nathaniel Franco.

ACCPD reminds cashiers to inspect all currency they receive during cash transactions. If local businesses believe an individual is using counterfeit currency, they should contact the ACCPD via 9-1-1.

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