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Aug 2, 2010 7:22 PM by Melissa Hawkes

Conterfeit Money Making Its Way Around Acadiana

Counterfeit money is making its way around Acadiana. So far, three businesses in Kaplan have found fake money, but officials believe there is much more out there.

Annie Trahan, owner of Annie's Bar in Kaplan, said "He asked for change. He gave her four fives and she gave him a twenty back. She just put the money in the drawer."

Trahan said she couldn't believe fake money made its way into her register.

"It's easy," she said.  "It looks like real money, but if you flip it over on the backside, that's where you can see the difference.

Officials say Luke Morgan of Kaplan was the person to blame. Boyd Adams, Kaplan Chief of Police, said Morgan was running a counterfeit money operation out of his home.

People would pay $20 in real cash in exchange for $100 in counterfeit money. It ranged in amounts from $1 to $20.

Joann Mathiew, Chief of Detectives for Vermillion Sheriff's Office, said "places like to focus on $100 bills. Now criminals are being wise and they aren't making the $100s anymore."

Adams said, "We want to make the business owners aware because there's a lot more out there.

Trahan says she has changed the way she operates.

"We have a light and the register and we check them and flip them over," she explained. "We can only try."

Investigators believe hundreds of dollars in fake money could still be floating around, just waiting to make its way into another cash register.

Morgan is being held without bail for monetary abuse. The secret service is also investigating. Officials believe there could be up to ten people involved and more arrests can be expected.

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