Target Pays $3.1 Million For Falsely Accusing Customer, Via Bulk Email, Of Passing Funny Money

A jury awarded Rita Cantrell $100,000 in actual damage and hit Target with $3 million in punitive damages after a Target employee sent a group email falsely accusing her of passing counterfeit bills. Rita was trying to buy stuff with a 1974 $100 bill which the store employees didn’t recognize and thought was a fake. A loss-prevention employee then sent around a group email containing her picture and the false allegation to 31 different local, state and federal law enforcement offices, malls, department stores, home-improvement stores and grocery stores. The email result in the Secret Service interrogating Rita at her work place, but they were able to check out the bill and determine it was genuine. “Every aspect of Rita’s life was harmed by Target,” said Cantrell’s attorney.

Jury orders Target to pay $3 million in civil case [Greenville Online] (Thanks to Philip!) (Photo: maliavale)

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  1. brent_r says:

    I’m sure the higher ups at Target had a few words for that employee.

    • Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

      @brent_r:

      I’m sure the higher ups at Target had a few words for that employee.

      Probably just two: “You’re fired.”

      • BrianDaBrain says:

        @TinyBug: But only after the lawsuit. I’m sure that right after the employee “caught” the “fraudulent” bill that the execs were in love with him for saving them $100. Whoops.

      • zonk7ate9 says:

        @TinyBug: You beat me to it. I was going to change it to:

        “I’m sure the higher ups at Target had a few words for that ex-employee.”

    • FooSchnickens - Full of SCAR says:

      @brent_r:

      They might have even “taken the incident seriously.”

  2. Bahnburner says:

    Target. Where you’re the target.

  3. Gokuhouse says:

    Some people have so much confidence in themselves it’s sick. Does anyone double check their answers anymore?
    Question: Is this fake?
    Answer: YES
    Should I confirm?:NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @Gokuhouse: Seriously, why did this employee suddenly think they were an expert on fake bills?

    • Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

      @Gokuhouse:

      Earlier this year, I was at a gas station in central California. I went inside to purchase some coffee and snacks for my long ride home, and paid with a $5 bill. It was the old-style bill with the small picture of Lincoln. Probably a 1995 bill or something.

      The cashier refused to take it. Her exact quote:

      “Wow, this must be the new $5 bill we’ve been hearing about. I’m sorry, but we can’t accept this.”

      Shows how educated some cashiers can be.

      • Wormfather is Wormfather says:

        @Dooley: /fowards comment to the secret service.

      • kc2idf says:

        @Dooley: I am a coin and note collector.

        In 1989, while in high school, I worked at a convenience store. A customer came in and paid with four 50-cent pieces. Naturally, I wanted to get hold of them, so I asked a co-worker to come over and witness as I took $2.00 from my wallet and exchanged them for the coins; something I had done on several occasions. Her question for me: “What is a half-dollar worth?” She was not asking its intrinsic value; she was asking its face value.

        What we have here and now is nothing different than when I was a high-school kid scraping together a few bucks at a minimum-wage job and working alongside ignorance.

        • GrandizerGo says:

          @kc2idf: Did the same thing when I was a church money counter…
          HOWEVER, if it was more than exchanging for face value, the quarter was worth 5 dollars, I would give it to the pastor and replace it with like denomination.
          He would take it to Bromfield St and have the money appraised. I would pay 50-75% of the cost of the appraisal.
          Soooo MUCH Silver that way…
          Never any Gold, although I did get bunches of 5 dollar notes…

      • LeroyBurhans says:

        @Dooley:
        I heard of another story a while back about a person who tried to pay with a $2 bill and targed had them arrested.

    • Haltingpoint says:

      @Gokuhouse: What I’m wondering is why didn’t the employee have one of those counterfeit money markers that most stores have? If it marked it as counterfeit, then the employee would be well within reason to expect that it was counterfeit and take appropriate measures.

      Note that I said “appropriate” which their actions were not regardless of the situation.

  4. tmed says:

    Oops. These things happen, try to do better next time.

  5. albear says:

    Wow, that’s some seriously rogue employee. This really sounds like something Dwight from the TV show “The Office” would do!

  6. Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

    The bill was different, granted. I can’t be certain that I’d know what to do in this situation, but I would never consider calling this woman a liar and counterfeit mastermind. People everyday, are asked to show ID when they are using their credit cards to purchase. If they resist, many times they can’t make their purchase.

    Instead of Target being hit with a $3+ million judgement, the title of this story could of been “Woman denied her purchases for fear she was using a counterfeit bill”. She would of been pissed the hell off, but in the end, Target wouldn’t of done anything wrong, or profiled her in such a vile way.

    Would of looked much better for Target. But who cares, right? Target’s a crock. I truly hope the employees involved get the punishment they deserve.

    • EyeintheLAsky says:

      @verucalise:

      “People everyday, are asked to show ID when they are using their credit cards to purchase. If they resist, many times they can’t make their purchase.”

      Though i’m not familiar with the merchant policy with MasterCard, the merchant agreement that VISA has does NOT require the purchaser to show I.D.
      This is usually a merchant requirement (“company policy”) – which goes AGAINST the agreement with VISA. (this subject has been covered on this website already).

      I’m surprised there isn’t by now some kind of booklet or something that the Treasury can give to merchants to help look up what an older bill would look like.

      When i was a teen, i worked at my step-fathers tire shop (a well-known chain at the time). I witnessed a customer come in and make a cash purchase.
      When the employee asked for I.D.and an address to put on the invoice/receipt, the customer claimed since it was a CASH purchase, the store didn’t need the information.
      As the employee tried to explain that it only for our records, the customer became adamant and agitated – insisting that cash purchases did NOT require the info.

      The guy paid with a very unusual-looking 50 or 100-dollar bill, too. Coupled with his demeanor, the whole thing seemed suspicious.

      After he left, we called the FBI. They sent a Treasury agent out to inspect the bill.

      He verified it was a valid bill – although a very old one that didn’t look quite like the bills of the day (early-mid 70’s).

      Sounds like a similar situation @ Target. But back in-the-day, we didn’t have e-mail and a working public internet. Thus, we didn’t have the time to get into that much trouble.

  7. highmodulus says:

    Wow, somebody’s getting so fired for that.

  8. kaptainkk says:

    Isn’t a 1974 $100 dollar bill worth more than $100?

    • esd2020 says:

      @kaptainkk: Only if somebody buys it for more than $100

      • Difdi says:

        @esd2020: Exactly. You can still spend $20 gold coins, and they’re worth the face value: $20. Of course, only an idiot would do that, since the metal content is worth far more, and a collector will pay more than the metal value. But nothing prevents you from spending it.

        • legwork says:

          @Difdi: An idiot, or something.

          At about 8 years old I found my mother’s stash of silver dollars. Over the next month I used them to buy a bunch of donuts at the local grocery’s bakery. I later learned the hard way that, though the donuts were very good, I had not made an equitable trade.

          Ouch. That still hurts.

          • kc2idf says:

            @legwork: As a cashier at a convenience store (referenced above) when I was in high school, I scored a whole roll of silver quarters like that. I still have them, almost 20 years later.

          • MightyDwarf56 says:

            @legwork: I scored the bulk of my silver collection because of kids doing that. That was sweet.

          • billin says:

            @legwork: Wow. I can’t believe I’m not the only one who did that, though I spent it on toys and not donuts. Even thinking about it now I feel ashamed…

        • RedwoodFlyer says:

          @Difdi:

          How about the 9/11 20 note? It’s the first time in history that 9 and 11 have been added to make 20 on Liberian currency:

      • akacrash says:

        @esd2020: “Isn’t a 1974 $100 dollar bill worth more than $100?”

        Yeah, in this case it was worth 3.1 million. ;)

  9. magilacudy says:

    Who says the economy’s doing bad? Apparently $100 in 1974 is worth $3.1 million in today’s money.

  10. BoomerFive says:

    Epic fail, this is just amazing.

  11. johnarlington says:

    I had a Georgia gas station cashier refuse a state quarter because she thought it was counterfeit. I tried explaining to her the economics of counterfeiting coins but it fell on deaf ears.

    • varro says:

      @johnarlington: “Yes, there *is* a *New* Mexico!”

    • sir_pantsalot says:

      @johnarlington: The time you spend trying to explain something to an individual should be a function of how many teeth they have.

    • MikeF74 says:

      Back when tickets went on sale for the Atlanta olympics, people from New Mexico had problems ordering tickets. Many of the order takers kept saying they could only sell tickets to people in the USA. Pleads to recognze New Mexico’s statehood were falling on deaf ears.

      • sventurata says:

        @MikeF74: I had a upstate NY cashier refuse a couple of George Washington dollars at the roadstop convenience store because “she didn’t take Canadian change.”

        I whipped out a loonie for comparison and pointed out that, in general, Canadian coins feature the lady with the crown as opposed to the founding fathers.

        Still no dice. She made me crack a (Canadian) $20, after arguing the exchange rate (our dollar was at $1.10 US) was equal.

        Guess who still has those lousy GW dollars in a drawer somewhere? Damn Boston CharlieCard machines and their funny money! It spat out $18 in coins at one point!

        • Burgandy says:

          @sventurata: We were at a tournament with some friends from New Mexico, the people handing out the winnings kept wanting to see the guy’s visa because he was from “a different country”. We went round and round for half an hour before I got out my phone and googled it for her. I still don’t think she was really convinced, she just wanted us to leave.

        • bwcbwc says:

          @sventurata: Well, look at it this way. Since the c$ has fallen to about US$.90, you’ve actually avoided some losses on the exchange rate. Those Washington dollars are now worth about $1.10 canadian instead of the other way around.

          And they’ll always stiff you on the exchange rate if you don’t go to a bank. So calling US$ and c$ equal when C$ was at US$1.10 isn’t surprising.

    • EyeintheLAsky says:

      @johnarlington:

      As strange as it may sound, even the Treasury Dept has stated – right on their own website – that merchants are NOT required to accept coins (or for that matter, foldable currency either!).

      (this has been covered already somewhere else on this website).

      It’s TWUE. I looked it up myself…and was VERY surprised to find that factoid.

      From the website of the U.S. Treasury:

      “There is,…no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services.
      Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise.”

      Here is the Link:

      [www.treas.gov]

      ===============

      If THAT isn’t odd-enough for you, try this:

      Those foldable bills you and i carry around in our pockets – are WORTHLESS. Not worth the paper they’re printed on.

      Need more proof?

      Back to the the Treasury Dept’s. website:

      “Federal Reserve notes are not redeemable in gold, silver or any other commodity, and receive no backing by anything This has been the case since 1933.
      The notes have no value for themselves, but for what they will buy.”

      Link:
      [www.treas.gov]

      Basically, they say the “goods and services” that are circulated in our economy ‘back’ the worth of the Federal Reserve Notes we treat as money.

      It ISN’T money.

      It’s a ‘receipt’ for payment…which USED to be redeemable in gold or silver.
      You can’t even do THAT anymore. (again, it says so right on the Treasurys website).

      “Federal Reserve notes are not redeemable in gold, silver or any other commodity, and receive no backing by anything This has been the case since 1933. “.

      Odd, huh?

  12. vastrightwing says:

    I’m sure they are taking this very seriously.

    The problem is that everyone is taught to comply with policy without “thinking”. The bill looked fake to the employee so they did what they were told, except this one decided to take it to the next level. Oops! Thinking only went as far as noticing the bill was different. Of course this whole debacle was systemic and it looked like most of the people involved had the same problem. Wow. How sad.

    • tmed says:

      @vastrightwing:

      “Next” Level?

      I think emailing an unfounded and under-investigated accusation with Photo to the area law enforcement and retailers is a few levels up the ladder.

    • Difdi says:

      @vastrightwing: Next level? More like next order of magnitude. The next level would be to call the local police to report a suspected counterfeit bill. Not to spam out an email with a picture and a false accusation of a felony.

  13. Eilonwynn says:

    I have a particularly odd canadian $50 – it has Mounties all over the back and a different design on the front – and I *know* if I had any interest in spending it, whatever store would think it was fake.

    • levenhopper says:

      @Eilonwynn: Just go to a bank and trade it in for a newer one.

    • tc4b says:

      @Eilonwynn: So, do you think you ought to be expected to be publicly slandered i you attempt to spend it?

      • Eilonwynn says:

        @tc4b: Did I say that? I think the Target employee was phenomenally out of line – when I got it at an ATM, I went inside the bank to ensure that it wasn’t a forgery myself. That being said, I’d want to see a transcript of the entire altercation – people don’t generally go to that kind of time & energy unless there were serious extenuating circumstances (either a belief that that was a requirement by law or target’s proceedures, or the person handing in the supposed forgery was acting out of line as well.)

  14. cf27 says:

    This will almost certainly be reduced on appeal. In a number of cases, the Supreme Court has held that punitive damages should be a small multiple of actual damages, on the order of 2-3 times. In the end, the result will be closer to $500K. Large punitive award from juries happen regularly, and are regularly reduced on appeal.

    • Difdi says:

      @cf27: So, what’s the actual damages of being unable to enter any local store without being escorted out by security? Malls, department stores, home improvement stores and grocery stores covers just about anywhere you might be able to buy FOOD.

    • silver-bolt says:

      @cf27: Actually, punitive damages can (er, should) be from 1 to 9 times the actual. So she can still net 1 million before costs.

    • night_2004 says:

      @cf27: When you end up getting “interviewed” at work about it, and have your name emailed all over the country wrongly accusing you of something, I think that is worth much more than a 1-9 damages multiplier.

      Target needs to pay up on this one, IMHO.

  15. aerick79 says:

    That l/p guy is a total “maveric.” Mccain should admire this guy

  16. zigziggityzoo says:

    Am I the only one that wants to see this $100 bill?

    • closed_account says:

      @zigziggityzoo: This is what know everything never wrong Wikipedia says a 1966 series looks like:

      • Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

        @chadbailey: The design was changed after that. Here’s a bill from 1969, the design of which remained unchanged up until the new BigHead bills went into production:

        (right click and “view image” for bigger)

  17. komodork says:

    Well, at least we know that the women doesn’t need to shop at target anymore!

    People need to learn about foreign currency, especially their neighboring countries. Here in Canada, we get special designed logos on some quarters that are in normal circulation. A few years back, we had a poppy design on them and others had the breast cancer ribbon. I tried to exchange currency when I was in America and they rejected it saying that isn’t real money.

  18. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    What was this employee thinking? That she wouldn’t find out about this after all these other places start refusing her business? That libel had suddenly become legal?

  19. llcooljabe says:

    If this was Wal-Mart, man, consumerist readers would have trashed it.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @llcooljabe: I’ll do it.

      Target executives were completely stupid for actually letting this go to court instead of making this woman whole again.

      In its answer to the complaint, Target denied wrongdoing and said that the email communication was “made in good faith.”

      So it’s OK to destroy this woman’s reputation as long as it was done in “goode faith”? Are they serious? I also find it hard to believe that the employee only e-mailed one person but they couldn’t prove it in court.

      • chas7926 says:

        @Rectilinear Propagation:

        I wouldn’t take this comment to be worth much more than the paper it is written on. I read a few years ago that companies were beginning to fight every lawsuit brought against them, even when they knew they were in the wrong, because it resulted in fewer cases being brought. A company that settles is a prime target for frivolous lawsuits.

    • tc4b says:

      @llcooljabe: Do you see anyone here sticking up for Target?

  20. Scoobatz says:

    This is one of the reasons I may never use all those $2 bills I have. I don’t want to go through the trouble of having to convince someone that they’re real.

    • SadSam says:

      @Scoobatz:

      Ooooh, I love $2 bills. I especially like giving them to kids as gifts. They get such a kick out of $2 bills.

      • MissPeacock says:

        @SadSam: I had a great aunt who would give my cousins and me $2 bills every single year as our Christmas present. The first year it was neat, the second it was annoying, and by the time I was an adult, it was just odd.

      • j-o-h-n says:

        @SadSam:
        My parents love’m too — my kids always get $2 bills for birthdays and what not — just this week my son spent a wad of them at Target on some Wii Craop. Other than a brief pause trying to figure out where to put them in the register, they were accepted with nonchalance.

    • Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

      @Scoobatz:

      I don’t want to go through the trouble of having to convince someone that they’re real.

      A while back, I decided it might be fun to actually start paying for stuff with two dollar bills, just to see what happened. Two phone calls and a short drive to the bank later, and I had about 100 two dollar bills, which I used in place of ones and fives for the next month or so.

      Out of 60 or 70 interactions, the most common reaction was nothing more than mild to medium surprise. The second most common reaction (maybe 8-10 times) was some variant of the cashier putting two singles into the till and pocketing the the two dollar bill. One of the least common reactions was absolute nonchalance. Only once was the cashier ignorant enough to think they were fake, and the manager was quick enough to correct her.

      If you’re looking for an novel way to start a conversation with cashiers and store owners, this is it.

      • tekkierich says:

        @TinyBug: I tip in $2 bills. I like to tip well and I figure that wait staff might remember “the $2 bill guy that tips well” more often and provide better service.

      • LatinoGeek says:

        @TinyBug:

        A have a few $2 bills. I collected them thinking that they weren’t in circulation anymore. Are they still in circulation? If so, then I plan to get more and use them. :-)

        • so5minutesago says:

          @LatinoGeek: Yup, still in circulation, though if you plan to get a bunch of $2 bills (like, more than 5 or so), it’s best to call ahead and make sure the bank has them. They might have to order the bills specially.

  21. HalOfBorg says:

    Kind of like my brother-in-law, when the clerk thought his new $20 bill was fake because it didn’t have a barcode on it.

    Only reversed this time. Young punk who never saw an older bill.

  22. sir_pantsalot says:

    What exactly do you say to your boss or employer after the Secret Service comes into the office to interview you? Hopefully they are nice enough to tell your employer that there was never a problem and not just leave and let you fend for yourself.

  23. techstar25 says:

    My guess is that her bill looks liked this, the 1966 issue:
    [en.wikipedia.org]
    The more modern bill looks like this in comparision:
    [www.moneyfactory.gov]
    The current bill with the big head looks like this:
    [www.moneyfactory.gov]

  24. Triborough says:

    I love to use $2.00 bills, since they take up less space and are good for making you think about those little under a dollar impulse purchases. However, I have run into people who think they are fake and claim there is no such thing as a two dollar bill.

  25. theblackdog says:

    I wonder if this Target LP guy was the same one I once knew who got fired from being a Wal-Mart LP guy because he was way overzealous in his job. He busted a person that was a “known shoplifter”, except they had nothing on them.

  26. mcs328 says:

    Sounds like she got 100K for each location where her info was sent. Sounds like a reasonable payout to me for being falsely accused.

  27. MikeF74 says:

    I think her award was just. Target shouldn’t have sent out an email impugning her reputation.

    On the flip side, one has to wonder if she knew fully that this might happen and wanted to make some money off such a lawsuit. After all, she was a loss-prevention employee in the area.

    At the end of the day though, Target was wrong for what they did and they deserved punishment.

  28. bmwloco says:

    Follow the link to the Greenville News site and read the comments.

    Mouth breathing South Carolinian’s are bashing the accuser, not Target.

    Typical. I live over the border in North Carolina. There’s a world of difference. Going to South Carolina, you check your brain at the border.

  29. SonicMan says:

    Problem is, this person job is in Loss Prevention. Even having this on her record would make it hard for her to get another job in her profession. If she ever lost her job where she works.

    I think the Jury award is fair in this case.

  30. IphtashuFitz says:

    Reminds me of the $2 bill Taco Bell story up on Snopes and all the related stories they’ve received since:

    [www.snopes.com]

    [www.snopes.com]

  31. Urgleglurk says:

    Scoobatz has it right. I’ve had a few salespeople give me crap about $2 bills. I have asked for a supervisor each time, who luckily was an older and/or more experienced employee.

    I no longer take them from my bank. If they give me one, I ask for two singles instead.

  32. Presidentpez says:

    I’ve worked several retail jobs throughout college and this seems pretty accurate. These big retail stores use “Loss” as one of many excuses for cutting hours, and low wages. Basically, “If shit didn’t get stolen then we’d have the money to pay you.” Combine that with overzealous LP guys and you have ackward situations like this one. I worked at Staples, Target, and Barnes & Noble and at all three at some point Loss Prevention was given as an excuse for cut hours and/or not giving raises.

    The employees are at fault in this situation, but this might be an underlying reason for the larger problem.

  33. ShizaMinelli says:

    I got on a bus and put a dollar in once, and it didn’t register so the driver was convinced that it was fake! Never underestimate the power of human stupidity…wouldn’t I just make up some fake 20s and call a cab??

  34. Dashrashi says:

    Maybe I don’t know enough about counterfeiting, but in these stories, the employees only think a bill is fake when it looks weird or different.

    Wouldn’t any counterfeiter worth his or her salt try as hard as possible to make their bills look as normal as possible? Or do they normally like to stand at the cash register and explain that, oh no, this is actually just an older bill, while trying to pass fake money? Why would they? You’re just maximizing the time spent dealing with and talking about the money you’re trying to pass unobtrusively.

    So…shouldn’t employees be LESS suspicious of obviously weird-looking money (e.g. state quarters, $2 bills, old hundreds) than they are of money that looks normal but seems off in some other way, on the ground that no right-thinking counterfeiter would be so stupid as to make completely strange money that would immediately arouse attention?

    Counterfeiters, store employees, others: please enlighten me.

  35. ionerox says:

    Most chain retail establishments have a verification book- showing various versions of each state’s ID, common passports, and bills that are in circulation from the last 25 years or so. Target doesn’t have this? The pizza place I worked at in high school even did.

    Shame on them. Sending an alert to other local Targets to watch for the woman is one thing- sending it to law enforcement agencies, other stores, etc. without proof of actual fraud is dispicable.

  36. KStrike155 says:

    Or they could have just used the marker that EVERY RETAIL OUTLET has to figure out if the bill was valid or not.

    At least that’s what I was trained to do when a situation like this arose when I used to work in retail.

    • Corporate_guy says:

      @KStrike155: That does nothing to stop a one hundred dollar bill created by washing a one dollar bill and printing a new bill on top. The 1974 bill would lack all the security features of a new bill. If I was a retailer I would not take the money and instead tell the customer to go to the bank to get a modern bill.

  37. dadelus says:

    Reminds me of this story…

    [www.snopes.com]

    Never underestimate the power of ignorance

  38. PermanentStar says:

    So, just a question if anybody knows (and sorry if it’s already been addressed and I just don’t see it) but do the counterfeit markers work on older bills, or just the new ones? If they work on the older bills, that would have been an easy way to avoid the ensuing issues.

  39. YOXIM says:

    There was never any need for any of this to happen. Stores have “counterfeit pens”. They are basically sharpies that use a special kind of ink that reacts different with regular paper than it does with actual money.

    A little bit of logic wouldn’t hurt either. If you were counterfeiting $100 bills, (which by the way would be stupid to do because almost everyone checks those), wouldn’t you try to make sure that your reproduction was as true to the original as possible? I’m just saying..

    • stopxstart says:

      @YOXIM: Those pens do not work on most older bills. I’m not sure of the exact cut off but they will flag the old style bill (without the security thread) as fake.

      As someone who handles all of the money for a grocery store, I can tell you this happens quite often.

    • chrylis says:

      @YOXIM: Furthermore, most of these pens only ever worked on one particularly cheap type of counterfeit bill in the first place (one that used starch to simulate thickness or that was printed on regular copier paper). The pens are pretty much a ripoff, as it’s pretty easy to tell the difference between real bills and copier paper, and they provide a false sense of security against any serious attempt at counterfeiting.

  40. GrandizerGo says:

    I would not hesitate to suggest that that same employee had recently gone through counterfeit bill training and they used new bills…
    And it wouldn’t surprise me if the person wasn’t even born when that bill was in common circulation.
    How many people remember Mercury dimes??
    Ben Franklin Halves???
    Morgan Dollars??? Except those are for sale on TV every other day…
    If the person did lose their job, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them fight and win to retain it… Lack of training. Not their fault…

  41. P41 says:

    The never-heard-of-a-two-dollar-bill stories usually have the police showing up and telling off the numbskull cashier. It’s funny how Target was convinced it was a fake $100 bill but not only didn’t call the police but also clearly let her leave with the bill. Or maybe they weren’t really sure it was fake but thought it was ok to spread suspicion, aka libel.

    Another little jem in the story is that the email also accused her of shoplifting. There’s no mention that they accused her of that in person, and whatever images of her shopping were sent, doubtful a jury would have awarded $3M if they showed shoplifting. (If they had, Target might have squeaked by with a ‘clearly she had two 1974 $100 bills and showed the real one to the secret service, shoplifters are sneaky like that’) So it sounds like Target inflated the accusation and jury hit them for it.

  42. Blueskylaw says:

    This wasnt the same employee that brought down Barings Bank was it?

  43. Miraluka says:

    On the other end, you’d be surprised at the kind of terribly counterfeited bills people try to pass off as real. I had a gas station attendant come to my family’s restaurant one day for take-out, and tried to pay with a counterfeit $100 bill.

    Needless to say, the bill had no watermark, and felt like it was printed on standard copy/printer paper. The guy pretended like he had no idea, but it was obvious he was trying to get one past us. Luckily for him, he had some real money on him to pay for his food. Turned out to be unlucky for me, because that food would have ended up in my stomach had he been unable to pay.

  44. nerdychaz says:

    I work in security and to send out a mass e-mail like that is unheard of! You are risking a lot of liability sending out bulletins like that. Of course this extreme is obvious with the 3.1 million dollar payout! I should use 100 dollar bills at target more often. I sure could use 3.1 million dollars.

  45. MrEvil says:

    There was a similar story not too long ago of a guy who paid for something at Best Buy strictly in $2 bills. The guy was a DC tour operator so he gave out $2 bills to students on his tours for buying meals. Needless to say the guy had a bunch of $2 bills fresh from the bank in his possession.

    Best Buy had incensed him over some dispute over a car stereo so to be an ass he decided to pay his bill in nothing but $2 bills.

    The cashier had never heard of $2 bills and being fresh from the bank some of the bills did not have ink that was 100% dry.

    I think the guy was held for several hours and the Secret Service said that sometimes the ink on very fresh bills will smear. Which makes sense because the Intaglia printing method puts ink ON the paper not INTO the paper.

  46. SimonMaia says:

    Steve Wozniak of Apple fame has had a few run ins. He buys (or bought) $2 dollar bills by the sheet. He had one run in with a clerk who was certain they were fake (serialized, and the ink was rubbing off). Allegedly the FBI interviewed him and the bills, pronouncing them real.

  47. ottawa_guy says:

    Now a USD is worth $1.30 CAD and rising…. the Canadian loonie is falling like a rock.