Counterfeiters pass the buck at local business

Posted: Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Evidently even lawbreakers can feel the crunch of an economic crisis, as counterfeiters passed fake $1 bills to a downtown business last week.

"They were in a tip jar," Viking Lounge owner Jack Tripp laughed. "So my employees got shorted on tips."

At the end of Friday evening, Viking Lounge employees discovered 13 one-dollar counterfeit bills in tips. Staying positive and upbeat about the crime, Tripp commented that his employees would be more diligent in the future.

"I know that they will be more diligent now that it has affected their tips," Tripp said. "We do run a really good crew and a nice bar."

Tripp stated that in the 19 years he has owned The Viking, the bar has received counterfeit bills only twice. Both instances were within the last year, and each time the fake currency were $20 bills.

The fake bills were found in the "back alley" bar, that is, the portion of the three-venue lounge away from the bar where it is a little bit darker.

"Even if you look at them in the dark, if you take a really good look, you can tell," Tripp said. "The problem is when you are busy, and with the quality of printers nowadays, people are able to do it a little easier."

Juneau Police Department spokeswoman Cindee Brown-Mills said the bills were probably printed off the Internet, and some were blank on one side.

"It is really just a goofy thing," Tripp said, again with a nod to humor. "It's really a bad economy when they are counterfeiting ($1 bills) right? That Obama better work on this stuff. You know, it was probably just some kid doing it, but it is not the right thing to do and those kind of things make it so people don't trust."

Tripp reimbursed his employees $13 in crisp, clean - and legal - $1 bills.

• Contact Klas Stolpe at klas.stolpe@juneauempire.com.



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