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The BBC's Malcolm Brabant
"The assistant at the Dairy Queen drive-thru in Danville, Kentucky was clearly not paying attention"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 31 January, 2001, 21:31 GMT
Funny money in Kentucky
Front and back view of the fake $200 bill
How to make a fast buck
Police in the American state of Kentucky are looking for a fraudster with a sense of humour, who paid for an ice cream with a fake $200 bill which featured a smiling President Bush and poked fun at him.

There is no such thing as a $200 bill. Nor do any dollar bills show the face of Mr Bush or any living US president - smirking or otherwise.


At a distance it looks like a real bill, it's got the green colour

Detective Bob Williamson, Danville police

The fake note also depicted the White House, with a sign on the lawn reading: "We like broccoli" - an apparent reference to the president's father, who said he could not stand the stuff.

But a cashier at a Dairy Queen fast food restaurant in Danville, Kentucky did not notice anything unusual when a woman used the note to pay for a $2 ice-cream and gave her $198 in change.

"At a distance it looks like a real bill, it's got the green colour," said Detective Bob Williamson of Danville police, when asked how the cashier possibly could mistake it for genuine money.

Clues

Close up of fake $200 bill
Signs on the White House lawn

However, there were other clues that this was not a run-of-the-mill bill.

Oil derricks had been printed either side of the White House and a sign in the middle of the lawn read "No more scandals."

Instead of the usual motto, "In God We Trust", the note read "The Right To Bear Arms".

Either side of Mr Bush's smiling face, in a text message format, was this line: "I love 2 smirk 4U".

Because there is no $200 bill, Detective Williamson said the perpretator is likely to face a charge of theft by deception, but not counterfeiting.

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