Funny Money In East Hampton?

This $100 bill, used in the film industry, may have been intentionally passed to a local market. Independent/T. E. McMorrow

Was it a crime? Was it a prank? Was it just an honest mistake?

Iacono Farm on Long Lane in East Hampton, which sells fresh chicken and eggs, chicken sausages, local farm produce, and fresh citrus fruit brought in by a purveyor, is trying to figure that out.

On May 6, a bank teller informed the Iacono that there was a phony $100 bill in their deposit.

The bill looks legitimate at first glance. However, at the top of each side of the bill, where it should say “The United States of America,” it reads, in the same font used on a real $100 bill, “For Motion Picture Use Only.” There are other differences between a real bill and the prop passed at the farm stand, noticeable upon closer examination, but the bills are designed to fool movie audiences. When a Hollywood star is filmed rolling in a bed of or tossing money into the air, these are what are actually used.

The question became — where did it come from? Anthony Iacono, who manages and runs the farm with his daughter Amanda, was initially going to report the incident to the police, but is still unsure of what the incident actually was.

There are a lot of long-term visitors currently in East Hampton who are in the film business. What if someone in one of those households had accidentally picked up one of those bills, believing it was real, and went shopping with it? Would that even constitute a crime?

What if someone had slipped them the Hollywood phony for egg purchases as a prank? The decision was made not to call the police.

“You can buy them on Amazon,” Amanda Iacono said Sunday. “I wonder if it was a joke, or if someone had bad intentions?”

Either way, no matter how busy, they will be examining those $100s a lot more carefully now.

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