Bill Advances Making Purchases With “Motion Picture Money” A Felony In Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa — Several times in 2018, 2019, and 2020, some fake money was reported circulating in our part of northwest Iowa. But it was a specific type of fake money. It was fake money created for the motion picture industry. Now, there’s a push to make passing that kind of fake money illegal in Iowa.

The problem is, since it has a statement on the face of the money that it is not real money, it’s not exactly counterfeiting. Making or using counterfeit bills that have no markings indicating they are fake is a FEDERAL crime, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison. But this money doesn’t fall under counterfeiting laws.

Three members of the Iowa House have voted to advance a bill that would make it a felony to use the fake “movie money” to buy things in Iowa. Representative Megan Jones of Sioux Rapids:

Jones says she went online and found a bundle of fake 100-dollar bills for seven dollars.

A business owner in northwest Iowa contacted Jones after an employee mistakenly accepted fake “movie prop money” for a large purchase.

The bill defines “movie prop money” as fake bills used by filmakers and photographers in theatrical productions or in print, like magazines. If the bill becomes law, someone convicted of using “movie prop money” to buy goods or services could be sentenced to up to five years in an Iowa prison — and the fine could be as high as 75-hundred dollars. The bill doesn’t make “movie prop money” illegal because Jones says it does have a legitimate use on the stage and screen.

Similar fake money was found circulating in northwest Iowa in February, March, and April 2018, February 2019, and September 2020.



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