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McAllen Bar Owner Loses Money after Receiving Fake Bills

3 years 1 month 2 weeks ago Tuesday, January 03 2017 Jan 3, 2017 January 03, 2017 5:26 PM January 03, 2017 in News

MCALLEN – A bar in downtown McAllen said they lost money to someone using counterfeit money. They reported it and want others to be on the lookout for the phony bills.

The bar owner said the fake currency was circulating in several bars, including her bar - Avenue 1704.

“It’s my family that’s working here with me. It’s a family-run business,” Norma Alvarez said.

The bar off 17th Street received the busy holiday crowd over the weekend. The next day they had a reason to review the security tape. Some money in the register didn’t appear real at all.

“He gave a $20 and got $18 back,” she said.

Alvarez said the man using the bills bought cheap drinks and received change multiple times. She reported the crime to McAllen police on Saturday.

“One of them is clearly upside down on the back part. You can see a white paper under it. Very fake looking. But at the point where they’re rushing through it you don’t notice,” she said.

McAllen police call the questionable currency in these cases “suspicious bills.” They forwarded the case to the U.S. Secret Service.

McAllen police said the Secret Service makes the call if those bills are counterfeit.

It appears clear to Alvarez. She lost money.

“We are out here trying to make a living. And when you’ve got somebody that’s doing that and you don’t shed light on it, he’s going to keep doing it. So we need him to get caught and we need this to stop,” she explained.

Alvarez wants to set an example among the bars in downtown McAllen.

The federal government said people should look out for watermarks on their money to make sure it’s real. Bills printed in the 2004 and 1996 style have watermarks of the faces on the bills. They also have other markings people can see if they hold up to the light.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to the Secret Service to find out more about the case. They couldn’t confirm with us if they’re looking into this yet.

We’ll continue to report any new developments. 

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