A mother who says Walmart employees intentionally humiliated her after wrongfully ripping up two of her $100 bills while believing they were fake is taking legal action against the store.
In her recently filed complaint, Julia Garcia is seeking no more than $74,900 in damages after detained for four hours before customers in San Antonio, Texas who were told she had tried to use fake money.
It was in the early hours of December 18, 2010 while doing some Christmas shopping for her children that Ms Garcia claims she presented the first $100 bill as payment before it was taken with suspicion from her.
Mishandled: A WalMart customer has filed a complaint against the store under claims employees wrongly ripped two $100 bills from her claiming they were fake
She says that the bill wasn’t actually tested by a counterfeit detection pen until after it was ripped, though that pen’s result was either misread or ignored by the cashier.
According to her complaint: ‘The cashier inspected the $100 bill, turned to another cashier and had a brief discussion, and returned to her register telling Plaintiff that her money was “fake.”
‘The cashier proceeded to rip the $100 bill in half without performing any counterfeit detection tests. The metallic strip in the $100 bill was clearly visible.’
After marking the bill with the detection pen, revealing a yellowish colour across it, Ms Garcia said she explained to the cashier of that colour meaning it was legitimate, having previously worked in retail herself.
Humiliated: Julia Garcia says she was detained for four hours at the front of the store in San Antonio, Texas, pictured
The employee proceeded to call a manager over who identified himself as Russell. At this time Ms Garcia said she took out a second $100 bill, which according to her, was immediately taken and ripped up as well by the man.
Test: A counterfeit bill detector pen, like the one shown, was used on the bills by the employees but only after they had been ripped according to the woman
Detained at the front of the store while told the police had been called, Ms Garcia claims that adding to her humiliation, the employees told curious customers in passing that she was busted trying to use fake money.
After two hours at the front, police arrived around 4.15am and proceeded to inspect the bills in question.
Following a series of tests the first responding officer, identified as Officer Edwards, returned to Ms Garcia telling her that what the Walmart employee and manager had done was a ‘terrible mistake.’
‘He then approached the manager, who appeared upset by what he was told by Officer Edwards,’ according to the complaint.
‘After speaking with Officer Edwards, Manager Russell approached Plaintiff and sarcastically stated that the police officers said the money was not counterfeit, though he disagreed.
‘At this time, he attempted to hand Plaintiff the two torn $100 bills he had misappropriated from her. When Plaintiff objected to receiving torn bills, Officer Edwards instructed Manager Russell to replace the bills he had wrongfully taken and destroyed.’
Ms Garcia, who said she was escorted out to her car by the officer around 5am, filed her complaint for false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress against the store on September 9.