GREENBACK, Tenn. (WVLT) -- An investigation into the production of counterfeit U.S. currency in Loudon Co. has led to the arrest of Jody Eugene Riden, Sheriff Tim Guider announced on Thursday.
Guider said Riden was found in a home in Greenback along with fake $1, $5, $10, and $20 bills as well as some misprints. None of bills made it into circulation, he added. Investigators also found a printer, copy paper, and spray paint in the home and in the printer was real $20 bill.
Riden was charged with three felony counts of Criminal Simulation, each carrying a $10,000 bond; a lone count of Violation of the Sex Offender Registry, which carries a $5,000 bond; and a single count of Failure to Appear. The case is expected to picked up by the feds for prosecution.
Brittany Bahrenfus handles thousands in cash everyday as a convenience store clerk. "There's been several times where I would get fake 20's or fake 10's," she said.
She's hip to the scheme now. "We mark both the front and back of bills." Using a counterfeit pen on every bill worth more than a buck. "And it will show up as yellow for real bills. It shows up brown or black for fake bills," she said.
Cops say fake money is on the rise in East Tennessee, and as holiday shopping season kicks into high gear investigators expect to see more. Usually it's fives, tens, and twenties.
"Store clerks are real busy and will change that out without even looking at it," said Loudon sheriff's Investigator Jeff Russell.
Counterfeit money not only ends up in the cash register of businesses. It could wind up in your wallet. But there's a simple trick for you to spot a fake.
"The texture of the paper is a big thing. If you feel one that doesn't feel right, reach in the drawer get another bill and feel the difference. You can really tell if there's a lot of difference. Look for your watermarks, your stripes inside the bill. Take time to look for it," Russell said.