Counterfeit cash: GF police arrest 2, search for source continues

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

By Scott Loftis and Samantha Jones

Two people were arrested recently in connection with counterfeit money being passed in Green Forest, police chief John Bailey said Thursday, and an investigation is continuing in hopes of finding the source of the fake cash.


“Shortly after Christmas, some of the businesses started notifying us about it,” Bailey said, adding that the denominations of the counterfeit money has ranged from $1 to $100, with one fake $10 bill and several counterfeit $20 bills.

Bailey said Green Forest police arrested Jonathan Higginbotham and Brittney Ware on Monday on forgery charges. The pair also face drug and theft charges.

“They had stolen property from Madison County,” Bailey said.

Despite the arrests, Bailey said authorities aren’t satisfied.

“We haven’t gotten to the person yet that’s printing it,” he said.

Berryville police chief Robert Bartos said his department is working with Bailey’s to investigate the counterfeiting.

“We’ve been having the same trouble here,” Bartos said. “We’ve been working with Green Forest and following up on some leads on where this stuff may be coming from.”

Eureka Springs Police Chief Brian Young said he doesn’t see very many cases of counterfeit money in town.

“Every once in a while we will get one,” Young said. “I hear about them here and there. It’s usually the bank that catches them.”

When banks find counterfeit money, Young said, the money is sent to the Secret Service. That means the police department doesn’t handle many of those cases, he said. It’s generally hard to tell who passed off counterfeit money, Young said, which is why the Secret Service steps in.

“Once in a great while we come across some,” Young said, “but the majority of them are unknown. The banks just send them off because they have no idea where it was passed.”

Maj. Jerry Williams, chief deputy for the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, said there had been no reports of counterfeit money being passed in the unincorporated areas of the county.

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