SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

November 10, 2012

Local motel clerk spots fake money

Middleton: Lynn man accused of making counterfeit bills

A Lynn man’s efforts to make money — literally — have landed him behind bars on counterfeiting charges, police say.

Jason Papagikas, 37, allegedly used a laptop and printer to start his own mint, a scheme that generated at least $800 in counterfeit bills before his arrest Thursday night at a Middleton motel.

The sharp-eyed clerk at the Candlelite Motor Inn on Route 114 immediately suspected that the five $20 bills Papagikas used to pay for his room in the “Apple Cottage” were fake, and told police that employees had found other suspicious-looking $20 bills on the ground outside the door earlier in the day.

Confronted in his room by police from Middleton and North Andover, Papagikas told the officers there was “no way” the money was fake, and instead insisted that the bills came from an ATM inside a nearby convenience store, according to a police report.

Did he have a receipt? Papagikas insisted he did, but it was in the center console of his car. Could they take a look in the car? Or in the two bags they noticed on the floor of the motel room?

He said no, telling the officers that “his lawyer always told him not to have the cops look into his things,” according to the report.

Papagikas has a “lengthy” record of violence and property crimes and currently has 10 other pending cases, including charges in Salem that he went into a former girlfriend’s home and assaulted her last February, according to the police report and court files.

Police arrested Papagikas on a charge of passing a counterfeit bill, the first of what would eventually be five charges brought against him. He’s also charged with two counts of possessing counterfeit notes, possessing counterfeiting equipment, and forgery.

As he was being led through the Middleton police station to be booked, officers noticed that $20 bills kept falling out of the bottom of his pants leg. Police eventually collected about $700 in fake money from the floor of the station.

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