Bogus bills turn up at Olathe restaurant

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OLATHE, Kan. -- Businesses in Johnson County are examining cash they take in carefully after multiple reports of counterfeit money in the area.

Crooks passed two bogus bills at Strips Chicken, near East Sante Fe Street and North Ridgeview Road, in less than a week.

The fast food restaurant has never had any problems with bogus bills in the nearly year and a half it's been open, until now.

Todd Johnson deposited his cash receipts from the weekend Monday, only to learn that a $50 bill he had taken was fake.

Johnson snapped photos of the bill before the bank turned it over to the Secret Service.

When examined closely Johnson learned that it was actually a $5 bill that had been bleached and reprinted as a fifty.

"50s and 100s, everybody should look at those a little closer anyway, rather than assuming they are good," Johnson said. "But I’m just impressed at how good the bill looked. So it was a bill that even me, my 14 and a half years being a banker, I would have missed it. It just looked really good. I would have missed it myself."

One week ago, Johnson says someone also passed a bogus $20 bill at the restaurant.  After he posted a warning on Facebook, Johnson received posts from neighboring businesses in Olathe saying they too had been victimized by counterfeit cash.

Gardner police have posted a warning about it on their Facebook page.

Johnson says he received messages from as far away as Raytown, Mo., about bogus bills popping up, so the problem may be more widespread.