Counterfeit $100 Bills found all over Graham County

Authorities were dispatched to a convenience store in Safford on Monday, November 19, 2018 regarding two forged $100 bills. The man who allegedly passed the forged bills was known to store employees and was identified as Michael Provencio. The cashier said that Provencio had used two $100 bills over the course of three transactions between 2:00 pm and 10:00 pm. The store manager provided the officer with video footage showing Provencio using one of the counterfeit bills at approximately 8:05 pm. Provencio apparently used the counterfeit bill to purchase a coffee and a bottle of water. Both bills had the same serial number.

The Safford officer was notified that Thatcher and Pima authorities were speaking with Provencio at the Thatcher Police Department regarding forged bills that had been passed at gas stations in Thatcher and Pima. Provenico apparently admitted passing forged bills in Safford, Thatcher and Pima, but claimed he had only passed one counterfeit bill at the convenience store in Safford. He told authorities that he did not know why there would be a second bill at the store in Safford with identical serial numbers.

According to the police report, Provencio told authorities that he knew the bills were fake and he passed them on a dare by one of his friends.

Charges are pending.