The following press release has been issued by Towns County Sheriff’s Office. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
An alleged counterfeiting incident occurred at Lakeview store in Hiawassee on April 28. The manager notified Sheriff Chris Clinton of the incident. Investigator Brandon Barrett opened an investigation, and discovered that a total of $360 of alleged counterfeit bills had been passed at the store by one individual.
Investigators found there had recently been a similar case which occurred in Murphy, NC in which a female subject had reportedly passed some counterfeit bills.
Michael Lee Riling, 28, of Murphy, North Carolina, was arrested and charged with Forgery in the First Degree. Riling has since bonded out.
A female subject who had been with Riling when the bills were passed at Lakeview store was later arrested by another agency on unrelated charges. She allegedly had counterfeit bills in her possession when booked into Towns County Jail.
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