At first glance it looked like the real thing, so store clerk Kathryn Miller was happy to accept the $200 bill as payment — and even make change.
The bill did carry a picture of President Bush, but he is not one of the presidents who appear on U.S. currency. And in any case, there is no such thing as a $200 bill.
That did not stop Miller, who works at Fashion Bug, a women’s clothing store in Greensburg, Pa., from taking the bill in payment for an item costing $99.
She also gave change to Deborah Trautwine, a resident of nearby Jeanette, said Jeanne Martin, a spokeswoman for the state police in Greensburg.
“Anyone with any bit of knowledge should have recognized that it wasn’t the real thing,” Martin said.
Trautwine, who was located by police on the basis of information from the clothing store, was charged Wednesday with forgery, theft by deception and receiving stolen property.
The bill was probably a joke rather than a forgery, said Martin. “It was some sort of gag money,” she said.
She didn’t know whether Miller still works at Fashion Bug.
Perhaps Miller shouldn't feel too bad, since, as they say, misery loves company.
Police in Kentucky are looking for a customer who succeeded in paying for a $2 order at a fast-food restaurant with another phony $200 bill. Authorities say the cashier at a Dairy Queen in Danville gave the culprit $198 in real money as change.