September 19, 2012
A woman is suing a San Antonio Wal-Mart after two employees ripped apart two $100 bills she used for payment.
After having police called on her and being detained for about 3 hours, Texas resident Julia Garcia says she will be pursuing a lawsuit against the chain for false imprisonment and emotional distress after two employees ripped two $100 bills she had obtained from an earlier vehicle sale and subsequently accused her of counterfeiting money.
According to Garcia’s complaint, on December 18, 2010 she “presented the cashier with one $100 bill, one $50 bill and change. The cashier inspected the $100 bill, turned to another cashier and had a brief discussion, and returned to her register to tell the Plaintiff that her money was “fake.””
The cashier next proceeded to rip Garcia’s $100 bill in half without performing any counterfeit detection tests, at which point Garcia said that the “metallic strip in the $100 bill was clearly visible.”
Only after ripping the bill did the cashier use a counterfeit detection pen, which Garcia says she saw turn yellow, a color she says means the bill is real, having herself previously worked retail.
The cashier refused to acknowledge the pen’s evidence and instead called a manager and told Garcia she was keeping the money.
A manager named Russell arrived to assist with the transaction. After explaining “that she had just sold her vehicle to purchase Christmas gifts for her children,” Garcia “took out the other $100 she had in her possession. Russell took this bill from her, told her it was also counterfeit, ripped it in half and again told [Garcia] she had to wait for the police.”
San Antonio Police showed up later and confirmed that both bills used were in fact real.
To add insult to injury, the manager, Russell, attempted to return the torn bills to Garcia, which she refused. The officer that responded ordered the manager to replace the bills they had “wrongfully taken and destroyed.”
As Wal-Mart was recently the target of DHS’ “See something, say something” snitch campaign, the employees may not be totally at fault for their actions.
In an effort to evoke suspicion of every customer, Big Sis’ campaign has inadvertently turned Wal-Mart workers and patrons into paranoid stool pigeons and informants for the government, suspicious of something as common as paying with a large bill.
The FBI has also contributed to the paranoia over people who pay with cash. In February, they issued a list of “Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities Related to Internet Cafè” which listed people who “Always pay with cash” as potential terrorists.
The move to a cashless society is also being accelerated by the criminalization of using cash money. In May, a Tennessee man was arrested after using an old $50 bill to pay for his goods at a Quik Mart store.