💲The bills were passed four times at a Wawa during busy times

💲Prop money has several differences from regular cash

💲A bank picked up the fake bills when a store manager was making a deposit

SOUTH BRUNSWICK – A man was charged with using fake $100 bills during busy times at a Wawa store.

James Leonard, 41, of South Brunswick used the fake bills, clearly marked “for motion picture use only,” on four occasions in December, South Brunswick police Deputy Chief James Ryan said.

Leonard would come into the store when it was busy and the cashiers would quickly deposit the money in the safe, according to Ryan. The fake bills weren't noticed until the store tried to deposit the cash at a bank. Ryan said managers then went through surveillance tapes to identify who was passing the fake money.

Ryan said Leonard was stopped by employees who recognized him when he came in Friday to use a fifth bill.

Leonard was charged with theft by deception and uttering a forged document and released on a summons.

Front of a $100 bill for "motion picture use only"
Front of a $100 bill for "motion picture use only" passed in 2019 (South Brunswick Police)

Differences between prop and real money

A similar incident happened in South Brunswick in 2019 when a prop $100 bill was used at a gas station on Route 27 on Christmas Day. A yellow highlighter used by the attendant darkened the bill.

The bill, with a picture of Ben Franklin on the front, states in small print that "this bill is not legal. It is to be used for motion pictures."

The phrase "In God we trust" and the word "dollars" are also missing. Police also said the material of bill feels different.

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