An investigation of counterfeit money used at NDSU’s Bison Connection is still underway, officials said Thursday.
Two instances of a person using multiple counterfeit $100 bills at Bison Connection were reported earlier this month to University Police who handed off the investigation to the United States Secret Service.
Agents from the Secret Service’s Fargo office could not be reached for comment. The Minneapolis Secret Service field office referred questions concerning the investigation to the Washington D.C. office. A Secret Service official there said it does not comment on ongoing investigations.
The two incidents happened in January, the first on Jan. 8 and the second on Jan. 31, according to University Police crime logs. The bills passed the eyeball and counterfeit pen tests, but a bank caught the bills and reported back to the university.
University Police Lt. Greg Stone worked with the Secret Service initially and said they told him the money used was sophisticated, but there were some obvious signs the money was fake.
He said the look and feel of the money was not consistent with how U.S. currency is supposed to look and feel.
But the currency did include a decent-looking fake watermark and security strip, enough to fool Bison Connection staff.
Stone said Secret Service agents said counterfeit detection pens are not the best way to spot a fake. Black lights and knowing the subtle details of how the bill is supposed to look are better ways.
Neither University Police nor the Secret Service has released any suspect information.
The incident is the first of its kind at Bison Connection since it was created in 2007, Bison Connection manager Wendy McCrory said.
She said the incident changed the way the service checks for counterfeit bills.
“We have received further information from the bank and we’ve researched on other websites,” McCrory said. “We are doing all of our due diligence.”
Customer Accounts Services associate director Kelly Bisek said there are discussions of how to detect counterfeit bills, but said he could not provide specific details.
“Right now we are looking at options, that’s about all I can say,” he said.
McCrory said there were no surveillance cameras looking in the area where the bills were used.
Memorial Union Administration said there are plans to install surveillance cameras that watch all cash operation areas in the MU. The planned installation of new cameras is not related to the counterfeiting incident.