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Gwinnett County Police Department

This Fake Money Was Made For The Movies But Was Used In A Real Scam

A lot of websites make prop money for TV and film, but not all of it is legal.

By Lauren Stephenson | August 16, 2016

Police in Georgia believe this man and woman used prop money created for TV and movies to make a huge purchase at a Walmart.

Gwinnett County police suspect the two used $1,000 worth of fake bills to buy lawn equipment in Buford, Georgia, last month.

The woman reportedly returned one of the purchases at another Walmart store in exchange for real cash.

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Investigators say the cashier who accepted the fake money quit her job.

"She quit her job shortly after being questioned about this transaction," Cpl. Michele Pihera told WAGA.

"So it could have been an inside job?" reporter George Franco asked.

"It might have been," Pihera replied.

Apparently, the illegal use of prop money is a problem across the nation, even though businesses that make and supply it have to follow strict guidlines.

Atlanta-based movie prop warehouse owner RJ Rappaport said the fake bills believed to be used in the Walmart scam appear to skirt federal guidelines.

"What they did is they took real money, and they copied it on a copier. And then they put this (pointing to the phrase 'For Motion Picture Use Only') — this tiny disclaimer that says, 'prop money,' so they say it's legal. It's not," he explained to WXIA.

Rappaport told WAGA none of the fake bills he makes have any elements copied from real cash.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports movie prop money was also used in at least one other recent incident in Athens, Georgia.

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