A woman in Kingsport, Tenn., was arrested Sunday after trying to pay for goods with a fake $5 bill—and she claimed it was OK because President Barack Obama said it was now legal to make and use counterfeit money.
Upon being called to a store in response to a counterfeit complaint, a police officer immediately identified a bill as a fake, saying it was printed on computer paper and that the two sides had been glued, not very well, together, reported CBS DC. At first, the woman who attempted to use the bill, Pamela Downs, said she got it a few days prior at a gas station in Bristol and that she never carefully inspected it, according to the Kingsport Times-News. However, the 45-year-old had to change her story after the cop then found a fake $100 bill in her purse after she agreed to a search. That bill was not even printed with green ink—instead, it was black and white and the back was attached upside down.
The officer then found a receipt from Walmart for a printer and copy paper inside her handbag, and placed her under arrest. “I don’t give a s***, all these other bitches get to print money, so I can too,” she said while being handcuffed, according to Times-News.
While at the jail, Downs explained to the police she read an article online saying Obama passed a new law allowing those on a fixed income to print their own money.
The story Downs read turned out to be a 2009 comedy piece on The Skunk, a website that calls itself “Tasteless American Satire for the Ill-Informed.” Among the claims in the funny article, which was not intended to be taken seriously: “The White House put forth a plan to distribute 375 million printing presses to every man, woman and child in the nation, so they can print their own U.S. currency. ‘For those who have lost their jobs and are behind in their mortgage payments,’ said Obama, ‘when this legislation passes you’ll be able to crank up your own printing press and create the cash you need, right from your own living room.’”
After signing a search waiver, the police searched Downs' apartment and discovered all the materials needed to counterfeit currency: paper, scissors, glue and a printer. Officers estimated she had counterfeit bills totaling between $30,000 and $50,000 ready to be used.
Downs was charged with criminal simulation and counterfeiting.