Police have encountered at least two cases of someone trying to pass
a counterfeit $100 bill recently, and said other fake bills may be in
Admond Safyani, a 35-year- old Burbank man, was arrested Aug. 2 at
Ralph’s, 25 E. Alameda Ave., on suspicion of trying to make a
purchase with a fake $100 bill. He told police he was given the bill
as change, but police said they found other counterfeit bills in his
Also this month, another man tried to make a purchase with a fake
$100 bill at In-N-Out, 761 First St., but police did not arrest him
because it appeared he had unknowingly received the bill as change,
spokesman Sgt. William Berry said.
With two instances of counterfeit bills in such a short period of
time, police said it is possible other bills might be in circulation
in Burbank because counterfeiters often pass several bills in one
area and then move on in order to elude capture, Berry said.
While people who receive a counterfeit bill as change often try to
pass it themselves so as not to lose the money, Berry said doing so
could result in criminal charges.
“You don’t have to print it,” he said. “If you knowingly pass it
you could be in trouble.”
Burbank Police have notified the Secret Service about the
counterfeiting cases, which is a federal crime. In addition to the
criminal investigations, Burbank Police hold training sessions to
teach retailers how to identify counterfeit bills. Shortly before the
Empire Center opened, police held a training session for
representatives from center businesses.
American currency has a number of security features that identify
it as authentic, but Det. Matt Ferguson said nearly all counterfeit
bills could be detected with just a quick glance.
“Most of the people who catch counterfeit money have not had any
training,” he said.
One of the easiest ways to identify a counterfeit bill is by the
quality of the paper, Ferguson said, because the material that real
bills are printed on is actually linen. Berry said it is also
difficult for counterfeiters to match the intricate printing of real
“Lots of times the eyes give it away,” he said. “It’s hard to get
those little circles perfect.”
While it might be difficult for retailers to scrutinize every
transaction, Ferguson said they should be suspicious of anyone making
small purchases with large bills.
“Many times a crook will try to make an $8 purchase with a fake
$100 bill so they get a real $92 back,” he said. “It’s a good policy
not to accept large bills for small purchases.”
Anyone who believes he or she has received counterfeit money can
contact Burbank Police at 238-3000.