It is certainly more difficult to get away with using counterfeit money these days compared to several decades ago. Yet people across the state of Arizona will still occasionally use invalid bills to make a purchase.
The Arizona Republic reports that Mesa police officers recently arrested 56-year-old Maribeth Kona after she allegedly used counterfeit bills to pay for items at local garage sales. The fake bills apparently did not contain the security features of a genuine bill, such as a security strip, watermark or security threads.
Kona reportedly admitted to police that she was involved in the process of producing counterfeit money and had used the money at several garage sales. The suspect’s first reported incident of using counterfeit money at a garage sale was at a house near 32nd Street and Dolphin Avenue in Mesa. Police suspect that the woman did not act alone in the counterfeit scheme and that she was working with 55-year-old Sandra Chastain, who was also arrested and previously convicted of forgery.
Forgery is considered a class 4 felony crime in the state of Arizona, according to ARS 13-2002. A person can also be convicted of a felony in the Grand Canyon state if he or she is found to be in possession of a forgery device. So if a person possesses any plate, die, software, equipment, or other device designed or adapted for the use in forging written instruments, he or she can be arrested and criminally charged if there was intent to commit fraud.