Operators of two Taco Bells in upper Manhattan thought “outside the bun” by counterfeiting money and forcing underage workers to give fake $20 bills to customers as change, a lawsuit alleges.
Annette Cirino is filing a class-action lawsuit in Manhattan federal court on behalf of her 17-year-old daughter, alleging the teen reported the allegations to cops after being “manipulated” into distributing funny money while working behind the counter at both restaurants.
“The girl has been quite distraught since this happened,” said the family’s lawyer, Richard Garbarini, adding the suit will demand at least $5 million in real money damages.
He described the fake cash as “terrible” copies slightly smaller than real $20 bills, adding they were likely produced on a laser-jet printer then run through a dryer to make them appear used.
To pull off the scheme, both locations scrapped a longtime “no large bills” policy and accepted $50 and $100 bills from customers, so cashiers could distribute the phony $20 bills, the suit says.