Paper Money

Oklahoma artist arrested on counterfeiting charges

An Oklahoma City man was arrested Feb. 17, 2015, after being accused of printing counterfeit money. But he says it’s all a mistake, according to a story posted on the ABC TV affiliate WKOCO in Oklahoma City, OK.

Officials reported finding counterfeit money all over the man's bedroom. “I would never pass out any bills,” said James Eidson.

Eidson says he’s an artist who just happens to like cash.

“People have offered me a lot of money for that table right there,” he said.

But that table, which is covered in counterfeit bills, is what landed him in hot water.

According to an incident report, Oklahoma City police showed up at his home, saw his printer, a printing tablet and stacks of money. Thinking he was running an illegal operation, they placed him under arrest.

“It’s ridiculous,” he said. “The police came here looking for my girlfriend and wound up arresting me for my artwork,” said Eidson.

Police were originally looking for the man’s girlfriend, who according to another police report, was wanted for stabbing a man in the leg.

Eidson says his artwork, which he’s very proud of, wasn’t worth going to jail over.

“No, no it wasn’t. Nothing is worth that place,” he said. “That place sucks.”

Eidson bonded out and expects to clear his name during a later court date.

According to federal investigators, it is illegal to manufacture, be in possession of, or try to “utter” counterfeit money.

It’s a crime punishable up to 15 years in prison, a $5,000 fine, or both. 

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