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Man arrested after paying court fine with fake currency

By Mason White 1:13 PM May 20, 2014
John Sheldon Jernigan 

By: Anika Rao
A man was arrested on charges of Uttering a Counterfeit Bill after allegedly paying a court fine with fake $20 bills, police in Florida said.

Bay County Police said that they arrested 26-year-old John Sheldon Jernigan on Friday, when he showed up at the courthouse to pay the trespassing fine.

The incident began when Jernigan gave the clerk at the courthouse $400 to pay the fine, and she noticed that the bills looked unusual. Upon closer inspection, she realized that many of the bills had the same serial number.

The bills, all $20, proved to be fake. The court clerk called the police, and Jernigan was arrested and charged with thirteen counts of Uttering a Counterfeit.

When investigators questioned Jernigan, he initially said that he received the cash at his job. Jernigan later changed his story and said that he did not know from where he got the fake money.

Jernigan carried a total of twenty-four counterfeit bills with him when he was arrested. Twenty were $20 bills and four were $50 bills.

Only four different serial numbers were used. Jernigan of Kelly Street in Panama City Beach, was booked into the Bay County Jail.