Providence police investigating spread of counterfeit money

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Providence police are investigating after counterfeit money was found at different locations throughout the capital city, including at a downtown hotel.

According to police documents obtained by Eyewitness News, there have been at least nine reports of fraud and the use of counterfeit bills in the last two weeks.

Providence Police Major David Lapatin warned city businesses to be on alert when receiving any bills $20 and higher.

The latest reported incident happened Saturday at the Marriott Hotel on Orms Street.

“They had received a couple of $20 bills that they believed were counterfeit,” Lapatin explained. “We responded there and took possession of the bills and we do believe at this time that they are counterfeit bills.”

The hotel declined to comment on the incident, which remains under investigation, along with a number of other cases in the city, according to Lapatin.

“When it builds up and we see a lot of bills passed at a period of time, we really get into it and see if we can track where this is coming from,” the major added.

Lapatin said the police department is handling the investigation, but the U.S. Secret Service is also involved.

Eyewitness News reached out to the Secret Service, who confirmed their involvement but could not offer any further details.

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