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Fake money becoming a real problem in Virginia

$5 million of movie money passed through United States

Fake money is circulating in our area.

ROANOKE, Va. – The Secret Service says it's fighting fake money.

You may remember we told you about a bank employee who Danville police say stole more than $100,000 from bank branches. Search warrants suggest Jorge Navarro replaced real money with movie money. It happened at multiple URW Credit Union branches and was reported in September.

James Donahue, Secret Service assistant to the special agent in charge, says they've seen $5 million of movie money passed and seized through the United States over the last two years.

Salem and Danville police both reported problems recently.

Donahue says a lot of the money is being sold online and it clearly says "motion picture use only". He says the Secret Service has tried to serve cease and desist letters to put a stop to it.

Donahue says while having the money in your wallet isn't a crime, as soon as you try to pass it off as real money, you're breaking the law.

He says business owners should check for security features on cash like a watermark and security thread and report fake cash to police immediately.

The police department/sheriff's office should contact the Secret Service for assistance and coordination.

The Roanoke Resident Agency's 24-hour phone number is: 540-857-2208

The Richmond Field Office's 24-hour phone number is: 804-592-3086

(This story has been updated. A previous version of the story said $5 million has been passed through Virginia, but that total is for the entire United States)


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