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12-year-old nabbed for printing $1 bills

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Alerted to a counterfeiting ring, police rushed to the scene and collared the prime suspect.

A 12-year-old boy from West Seattle.

The Madison Middle School student used a relative's computer to create 20 realistic-looking $1 bills earlier this week and passed a dozen of them out to classmates, according to Seattle Public Schools spokesman Peter Daniels.

One of the boy's friends used a phony dollar to make a purchase in the school cafeteria Monday, but the con wasn't discovered until cashiers made their tallies at the end of the day, Daniels said.

Cafeteria workers, on the alert the following day, caught an 11-year- old student trying to buy beef jerky with the fake money, Seattle Police Department spokeswoman Deb Brown said.

The assistant principal called police, who questioned the boys involved in the counterfeiting. Investigators were able to track down and confiscate eight of the bogus dollars, Brown said.

The counterfeiter, the 11-year-old and another boy involved in the scheme were given five-day suspensions, which began Tuesday and will continue after next week's spring break.

While some might find the incident amusing, Daniels said it's important for students to realize it's a serious crime -- a felony.

The Secret Service has declined to investigate, Brown said, possibly because the counterfeited bills were such a small denomination and there were so few produced. But a Seattle police detective will continue to work on the case and will forward his findings to King County prosecutors, who will decide whether to file criminal charges against the two students, she said.


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