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Warning Issued on Bogus $20 Bills

A rash of counterfeit $20 bills are circulating in Oxnard and Ventura, and police expect more of the forged cash to turn up in the county.

Oxnard police are warning all businesses and customers to check the cash they receive for telltale signs that give away the otherwise successful copies.

“You would probably accept it, I would probably accept it,” said Detective Len Newcomb of the Oxnard Police Department’s white-collar crime unit. “Unless you look at them really carefully, they’re good copies.”

An Oxnard fast-food restaurant first discovered the forgery Monday after running a scanner over two $20 bills turned in at the drive-through window, Newcomb said. The restaurant, which police declined to name, gave the bogus money to Oxnard police.

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Later in the week, the U.S. Secret Service came across a pile of the bad cash in Ventura, Newcomb said.

The bills, all of them in the 1985 series, bear “C3" on the front and the number “259" on the back. Some show the serial number “J24291768A,” though this can be changed, police said. The bills also lack the fibers that can be seen on genuine currency.

This series of counterfeit bills first surfaced in Los Angeles in March and again in Reno and Texas in June, Newcomb said. The first sighting in Ventura County came Monday.

Police expect more bills to turn up in the county. “That’s based on trends, we don’t have any inside information,” Newcomb said.

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