Authorities find counterfeit money making lab in eastern Iowa

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CLERMONT, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say they've found a home lab being used to make counterfeit cash in northeast Iowa.

Fayette County deputies serving a search warrant at a Clermont residence say they found computers, printers, special paper and thousands of counterfeit bills in denominations of $5, $10, $20 and $50. They say they also found drug paraphernalia and prepaid credit cards.

Records say 33-year-old Jason Massman lives at the home and has been charged with ongoing criminal conduct, falsifying public documents and with other crimes. Court records don't list the name of an attorney who could comment for him.

The sheriff's office says counterfeit cash has shown up recently in several Fayette County communities.

Financial institutions say people need to be aware of counterfeit bills circulating in eastern Iowa.

Matt Bailey from the Linn Area Credit Union says a lot of counterfeits come from retail outlets or gas stations.

Counterfeiters pass them by breaking larger, fake bills and getting change back. The retailer typically doesn't notice until trying to deposit the money.

By that time, Bailey says the retailer will end up being the loser.

The easiest way for people to detect a phony bill to really pay attention to the feel of the money. The older bills are a lot easier to counterfeit rather than the newer ones that have more security features.

You can also check the Secret Service website for more resources so you don't become a victim.