A woman in Texas is putting her money where her mouth is, suing Walmart after a cashier and manager intentionally ripped two of her $100 bills and detained her for hours after they suspected the currency was counterfeit.
According to a document from the 150th Judicial District Court in Bexar County, TX, Julia Garcia said she was Christmas shopping for her children at a Walmart store in the San Antonio area on Dec. 12, 2010.
Garcia just sold her vehicle and had two $100 and $50 bills to pay for her items. When she checked out of the store at 2 a.m., she gave the cashier one of each.
The cashier inspected the $100 bill, showed it to another cashier, and told Garcia the $100 bill was “fake.” Garcia claims the cashier ripped up the bill in front of her without performing any counterfeit tests. She also maintains that the metallic strip in the bill was “clearly visible.”
After tearing the bill, the cashier tested it by using a counterfeit detection pen. The pen left a yellow mark on the bill, indicating that it was actually real. However, the cashier told Garcia that the store was keeping the money.
Garcia asked to see a manager about being refunded. A Walmart employee identified in a court petition as “Russell” responded to Garcia’s request.
Russell agreed with the cashier’s conclusion and told Garcia that she had to wait for police. When Garcia took out the second $100 bill in an attempt to prove the money was valid, Russell took the bill, told her it was counterfeit and also ripped it in half.
Garcia was detained at the front of the store by Russell and another manager. She waited for two hours until the police arrived. During that time, customers inquired why the Garcia was being held, to which the managers said she was “trying to pass fake money.”
When San Antonio Police arrived to the store, they tested the money and confirmed the bills were real. She declined to receive the ripped bill back and police advised Walmart employees to replace them with new ones.
The ordeal ended at about 5 a.m.
Garcia is seeking damages, claiming employees falsely imprisoned her and caused her intentional emotional distress. She filed her complaint against the retailer on Sept. 9.