I cannot take credit for the following writing – I lifted it directly from a local paper in my hometown. Trip the Munchkin (name changed because . . .y’know) was my sister’s husband. A fact that was left out of the following story: at the time of my sister’s death, she and Trip had been separated for quite a bit of time and she was living in her own place.

There are so many snarky comments I want to include – but my readers are intelligent and can insert their own punchlines where appropriate. Happy Ronday!

On [date redacted], a state police detective working for the [City Redacted] District Attorney’s office arrested Trip the Munchkin after linking him to over $70,000 in counterfeit $100 bills and travelers checks. Trip the Munchkin was convicted in April 2007 and sentenced to two years of probation.

“It’s something I expected would come up,” Trip the Munchkin said.

The saga started back in 2005 after the death of his wife. Trip the Munchkin moved back in with his parents but later found himself on a dating site looking for companionship.

“It was a rather emotional time of my life,” he said. “And I met this person online. This person was being really sweet to me and I found out she was from Africa. That really didn’t put out any bells and whistles — I had dated someone who had come over from Africa before. I wasn’t quite as savvy as I am now.”

His new friend asked him for a favor: she asked if she could send him traveler’s checks in the mail, which he could cash at his bank before sending them on to another friend through Western Union.

The traveler’s checks cleared, and Trip the Munchkin figured the arrangement was legitimate. He later discovered the checks were counterfeit but his Nigerian friend reassured him that she had been scammed as well.

The next packages contained what looked like $100 bills, which were later revealed to be created from uncut sheets of $1 bills that were washed and remade as higher currency.

I thought the bills were real,” Trip the Munchkin said. He acknowledges, however, that he had suspicions and thought perhaps he could continue along to collect evidence.

I was out about $4,000 myself,” he said. “She swore she’d pay me back.”

A friend at his bank set him straight — the money he was receiving was counterfeit. Trip the Munchkin said he was planning to contact state and local police when he received the fatal knock on his door: the Secret Service and state police were there with a search warrant.

According to [City Redacted] District Court records, the warrant was obtained after an investigation into the counterfeit $100 bills. They opened 27 Federal Express packages which had been shipped from Trip the Munchkin’s [city redacted] home and discovered a total of $69,000 counterfeit $100 bills and money orders.

On searching the house, the records state, an additional $5,000 in counterfeit $100 bills were seized along with Federal Express shipping packages of various sizes, several Federal Express tracking slips and counterfeit American Express checks.

Trip the Munchkin said he cooperated with the investigation and officials eventually believed that he had nothing to do with the actual counterfeiting. Trip the Munchkin said he served out his two years of probation properly, paid his fines, and has since stayed away from imported funds.

“I got myself in the middle of something I didn’t understand,” Trip the Munchkin said. “I was a dope. It was a vulnerable time of my life.”