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Homeless man caught passing fake bills

A homeless man attempted to pass off $200 of fake US currency as genuine to various Hamilton stores.

Edward Bryan Marshall, 44, pleaded guilty to four counts of passing counterfeit bills knowing that they were not real.

Magistrates’ Court heard that Marshall went to Liberty Theatre and asked to buy a ticket to a film around 2.15pm on February 17.

He handed over a fake $50 US note. The employee accepted the bill, giving Marshall a ticket and change.

Marshall then walked away from the area without entering the cinema.

A short while later, he turned up at Mr Chicken restaurant where he paid for food with a second fake $50 note, and received a quantity of change.

He tried to buy gum and a cup of coffee at Esso City Tiger Mart on Richmond Road shortly after that.

On this occasion he was challenged by a staff member.

Marshall responded: “Are you serious? Someone gave it to me.”

He asked the worker not to call the police and asked for the bill back, so he could throw it away. He then left the store, leaving the bill behind.

Marshall then went to The Phoenix Store on Reid Street where he again was able to successfully purchase items and receive change using a fake $50 bill.

He was arrested on the corner of Church Street and Dundonald Streets minutes later, on suspicion of passing fake currency.

He initially told police he was handed the bills by a stranger and had no idea they were fake.

In a subsequent interview he admitted knowing the bills were not real.

Marshall said he got the notes from a stranger on Curving Avenue. He used them to get real cash as change from items purchased, to buy drugs.

The court heard he has a history of dishonesty offences, including theft and burglary.

Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo remanded Marshall into custody and ordered social inquiry and drug reports to be carried out before sentencing.

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Published February 22, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated February 21, 2013 at 10:49 pm)

Homeless man caught passing fake bills

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