News Release from Syracuse Police Department:

Since about early June 2013, the Syracuse Police Department began receiving numerous complaints from merchants and retailers concerning counterfeit $100 Federal Reserve Notes being presented and accepted for purchases.  Many of the passes occurred at fast food restaurants, coffee shops, as well as drug stores and other big box retailers. 

To date (26 July 2013), the following serial numbers are involved with the recent counterfeit $100 Federal Reserve Notes (FRNs) being passed in the City of Syracuse and elsewhere including Onondaga, Oneida and Oswego counties:

FF70978204B                BA27179985A               AB33085651W              KB39553487H               AB11019243L   

CB63735270C               D75646662C                  FL58539363C                KB18440233G

 Arrest of Cornelius Johnson

On Tuesday, 23 July 2013, members of the Syracuse Police Department’s Forgery and Financial Crimes Section, along with assistance with Special Agents of the United States Secret Service arrested Cornelius Q. Johnson, a 38 year old male, of Syracuse New York with 92 counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in 1st degree for possessing 92 counterfeit $100 Federal Reserve Notes.  Johnson was arraigned before Judge Uplinger in Syracuse City Criminal Court on 24 July 2013 and is being held on no bail. 

Cornelius Johnson was arrested on similar charges by the Syracuse Police Department in February,2008, convicted in August, 2009 and was sentenced to State Prison to a term of 2-4 years as a result of the arrest.  

How to Detect Counterfeit Notes

Merchants are especially being asked to check any transactions involving the presentment of $100 Federal Reserve Notes,

The public has a role in maintaining the integrity of United States currency. The public can help guard against the threat from counterfeiters by becoming more familiar with United States currency.

The Syracuse Police Department offers these tips on how to detect counterfeit money.  (1) Look at the money you receive. Compare a suspect note with a genuine note of the same denomination and series, paying attention to the quality of printing and paper characteristics. Look for differences, not similarities. (2) Genuine currency paper has tiny red and blue fibers embedded throughout. Often counterfeiters try to simulate these fibers by printing tiny red and blue lines on their paper. Close inspection reveals, however, that on the counterfeit note the lines are printed on the surface, not embedded in the paper. It is illegal to reproduce the distinctive paper used in the manufacturing of United States currency. (3) Genuine serial numbers have a distinctive style and are evenly spaced. The serial numbers are printed in the same ink color as the Treasury Seal. On a counterfeit, the serial numbers may differ in color or shade of ink from the Treasury seal. The numbers may not be uniformly spaced or aligned. (4) The fine lines in the border of a genuine bill are clear and unbroken. On the counterfeit, the lines in the outer margin and scrollwork may be blurred and indistinct. (5) On a genuine bill, the saw-tooth points of the Federal Reserve and Treasury seals are clear, distinct, and sharp. The counterfeit seals may have uneven, blunt, or broken saw-tooth points. (6) The genuine portrait appears lifelike and stands out distinctly from the background. The counterfeit portrait is usually lifeless and flat. Details merge into the background which is often too dark or mottled.

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