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Grand Forks woman charged with counterfeiting cash

GRAND FORKS -- A Grand Forks woman accused of trying to pay her tab at El Roco bar and grill with a fake $100 bill is facing federal counterfeiting charges.

Lolita Jewel Amick, 33, has pleaded not guilty to charges of making and using phony money. If convicted of both counts, she could receive a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison.

Amick was arrested Sept. 7 after a bar employee spotted the bogus bill, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett Shasky said Thursday.

Further investigation found that Amick was using a certain method to make $100 bills with the same serial number, Shasky said.

"It did involve some copying and what not," he said, but declined to elaborate. "It's not a major counterfeiting operation."

Shasky would not say how much fake money investigators discovered. El Roco appears to be the only business where Amick tried to use a fake bill, he said.

The Grand Forks Police Department initially handled the case then turned it over to the Secret Service, which is part of the U.S. Treasury Department.

Amick's case is set for trial Feb. 2 in Grand Forks.

In state District Court, Grand Forks County prosecutors have charged Amick with forgery and drug possession. She's pleaded not guilty to those felony charges. She allegedly committed those offenses on Sept. 7 as well.