Weather Forecast


Counterfeit bills passed in area, Ellsworth Chamber told

Ellsworth Police Chief Eric Ladwig (Herald file photo).

Area businesses are being cautioned about an increase in counterfeit bill activity in this vicinity, Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce members heard Thursday.

Ellsworth Police Chief Eric Ladwig and Bobbi Stanley, the new manager at Associated Bank in East Ellsworth, discussed the rise in counterfeit $100 bills coming through town. Several such incidents have been detected recently, they said.

“We’re currently piecing it together,” Ladwig said about law enforcement efforts.

The chief lamented the fact these bills sometimes go from the business where they’re received to a bank first, meaning a week or so can elapse before they’re brought to light. The time delay makes it more difficult to determine who passed such bills, he said. Red Wing has also had quite a few counterfeit bills in their community lately, so the EPD is working cooperatively with police there.

Pens on the market can help recipients identify the bogus bills, according to the pair. When a bogus bill is marked with these pens, their typical yellow marking turns black. They’re not always 100 percent accurate, however, especially when different denominations are involved, Ladwig said.

He promoted starting the enforcement process at the business end to lessen the investigation needed from officers. If someone’s suspected of passing counterfeit bills, call the EPD or whatever the local jurisdiction may be immediately, he advised. He also recommended going on the Secret Service’s web site to learn more.

New $100 bills are presently being circulated, Stanley said, showing samples to help with recognition by chamber members. These bills have built-in security features, she said. The public can visit to see the latest currency.

When bad bills in smaller amounts are passed, they sometimes lead to others in bigger amounts, the pair said. More counterfeiters are turning to the smaller ones in the belief they can get away with passing them a little easier.

Ladwig cautioned business people not to go right after suspects and try to hold them.

“We don’t want anyone getting hurt,” he said.

For more please read the Nov. 6 print version of the Herald. 

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

(715) 273-4334