Longmont couple accused of counterfeiting money

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LONGMONT, Colo. -- Longmont police say the couple made funny money right inside their home—counterfeit cash police say the parents spent in their community.

And now, police are looking for Katrina Obee and Erick Berdinner.

Longmont officers and the Secret Service executed a search warrant inside their duplex at 2163 Dexter Dr. Wednesday morning.

"She came through the window, handed me a $20," says Dairy Queen manager Angela Sargent of Obee.

The mother of two orders a cool treat from a Dairy Queen at 616 Main St., butshe ends up feeling the heat from the manager.

"I said, 'I’m sorry, this is counterfeit. Do you have any other way of paying for it?' and she handed me her credit card," says Sargent.

That card is declined, but Sargent writes down Katrina Obee's name.

"She said, 'can I have my $20 back?' I said, 'no, it's counterfeit. I have to call the police and they probably want talk to you,'” says Sargent.

The store's surveillance cameras capture Obee in action. Sargent says she had a wad of cash in her hands.

"Most people don't carry a wad of money. She just pulled out the $20. You could see she had quite a few. She was ready to go shopping," says Sargent.

Police already had Obee and her common-law husband in their sights.

They had apparently been passing off the funny money at several businesses around Longmont.

And they found some of it at their home when they searched it.

"We did find a sheet of paper … pre-made $20's … already copied front and back … just needed to be cut out," says Longmont Police Commander Jeff Satur.

"This house?" questions the couple's neighbor, after learning police searched it.

Neighbors seem shocked by what police say was going on behind closed doors.

Even Berdinner's brother is in disbelief.

"If you just grab it quick, glance, it looked pretty legit," says Laura Smith, manager of a Dairy Queen at 1945 Main St.

Police say the suspects also hit this Dairy Queen twice.

Now, employees must check every $20 for its security features.

"I think it’s wrong. Earn your money how you're supposed to earn it and not print it off. It's not fair," says Smith.

"It makes me angry. Someone thinks they can get away with stuff for free, and generally they order the smallest, cheapest item because they want as much money back on the $20 that they can," says Sargent.

It may seem like an easy way to come up with cash--just make it--without earning it. But police say it's fake money with real consequences.

"It seems like easy money. In the end, it is a serious felony. It just a matter of time before you get caught for this," says Satur.

He wouldn't say how much imitation currency the couple is accused of passing around.

But they suspect they also defrauded businesses in boulder. They say their reach could extend beyond the two towns.

 

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