Post Office branch passes counterfeit bills

LOS ANGELES "There couldn't be a better backdrop meeting -- the tar pits -- to this experience. When all the details unfold it will be clear that this was a trap," said David Lipin.

Lipin is a man who says he has been wronged by the Post Office and won't rest until Uncle Sam fixes it.

"Bogus bills," said Lipin. "I'll trade eight legitimate bills with the United States Post Office for these illustrious counterfeit one-hundred dollar bills."

Ten days ago Lipin cashed a $1,000 postal money order at the Fairfax District branch for payment for his work as a public-relations consultant.

The clerk counted out ten 20s and eight $100 bills. But 15 minutes later, when Lipin tried to pay for gas with one of the $100 bills, the clerk spotted something.

"That was a real fake bill," said gas station clerk Rosario Sanchez.

All eight of the hundred-dollar bills were bogus. Lipin has since learned the counterfeiters bleached legitimate five-dollar bills. In the light you can see Lincoln's picture faintly in the right hand corner. Then they printed over the fives with hundred-dollar bill markings, including Benjamin Franklin's picture.

"I tell the customer I cannot accept it and I call the police," said Sanchez.

Lipin called police too and in the past week has spent time with investigators from the LAPD, Sheriff's department, Secret Service and Tuesday, with inspectors from the U.S. Postal Service.

Lipin knows in most cases he'd be left holding the worthless bills, but he thinks the Post Office is different and should pay him back.

"I don't have a problem saying that this economy has been tough on me personally and to undergo this, it feels as though I was kicked while I was already down," said Lipin.

Lipin say he finds it interesting that all eight of the hundred-dollar bills that he got when he cashed that money order were counterfeit. Not one or two, but all eight. He wonders how that could happen.

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