By Eric Francis
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — An arrest warrant was issued for a Springfield man who failed to show up in court to face charges of counterfeiting paper money and false pretenses.
Seth Robinson, 31, of Springfield had been scheduled for arraignment Tuesday on felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from incidents Feb. 11. Employees at the Springfield Mobil station and the McDonald’s restaurant told police a man later identified as Robinson had tried to spend poor copies of $20 bills.
A clerk at the gas station told police that Robinson had requested $5 worth of gas and given her a $20 bill before reaching into what she described as “a pocket full of fake bills” and giving her a second $20 and asking her for change for that one as well.
Springfield Police Sgt. Jon Molgano wrote that the clerk was immediately suspicious because the bills, which appeared to have been run off on some kind of printer or copier, were “glossy” and an odd color and one edge appeared to have been cut with scissors.
After running a counterfeit identification pen over the bills and seeing it turn black, the clerk said she and her manager challenged Robison and told him the money appeared fake. Police said he insisted that it was good and he had received it in change the night before.
The clerk said when she stated she had seen what appeared to be a wad of similar fakes in his pocket, Robinson took his bills back and promptly left.
Molgano said police received a similar report a short time later from a McDonald’s counter worker who had also refused to let Robison use what appeared to be a fake $20 to pay for a $1 drink.
Molgano said Robinson insisted he only ever had three of the bills, two of which he turned over to the officer. Robinson claimed he had thrown the third one out his car window “in frustration,” the sergeant said.
Molgano said it was obvious the bills were not real because they were blurry, missing borders, and both had the same serial number.
Molgano said Robinson was charged with counterfeiting and attempted false pretenses because “attempting to pass one of the bills immediately after being notified that his bills were counterfeit led me to believe that he knowingly possessed fake money and elected to use it anyway.”
The officer added, “Therefore, I wasn’t convinced that his possession and use of the bogus money was inadvertent.”
Robinson could face up to 15 years in prison if he is convicted of the charges.