Kingsport man allegedly attempts to pay power bill with counterfeit money

Rain Smith • Apr 7, 2010 at 12:00 AM

A Kingsport man has been charged with eight counts of criminal simulation after allegedly attempting to pay a power bill -- which led police to his residence -- with counterfeit money.

According to a report at the Kingsport Police Department, the incident occurred at about 11:15 Tuesday morning. The suspect was attempting to pay his $250 bill at Shakar Antiques, 245 Broad St., which accepts utility payments.

Police report an employee noticed a $10 bill had an, "inconsistent look and feel." When she checked it with a counterfeit pen it tested positive, and she returned it to the man attempting to pay his bill.

When the bill was returned to the suspect, Hubert D. Royal, 69, of 1012 Ward Place, he allegedly said he would, "just pass it on to a friend." When Royal left the business the employee then checked the rest of the money he had provided, finding three $20 bills had the same serial number. They also tested positive to the counterfeit pen, according to the police report.

The Shakar employee called police, providing them with the address listed on Royal's power bill. An officer responded to the residence, where Royal said he did not know the money was fake.

The officer reports asking Royal why he didn't call police after the Shakar employee informed him the $10 bill was fake. Royal allegedly replied that he, "was just going to give it away."

Royal was arrested and charged with criminal simulation. While being searched police located four additional phoney $20 bills, all containing the same serial number as the three fakes he allegedly passed at Shakar.

Police say Royal again denied knowing the bills were fake and didn't know where he had received them. He was charged with eight counts of criminal simulation.

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