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Drivers found $34K on a North Carolina highway. Here’s why they can’t use it.

Police found nearly $34,000 in counterfeit bills on a North Carolina highway on Sunday.
Police found nearly $34,000 in counterfeit bills on a North Carolina highway on Sunday.

Tens of thousands of dollars were discovered Sunday on a North Carolina highway, bringing instant prosperity to those who managed to scoop up some of the cash — or so people thought.

Turns out the money, at least $34,000, was counterfeit.

Residents discovered the money Sunday morning on U.S. 701 near White Lake, south of Fayetteville, before people called the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office to report the cash, according to multiple media reports.

“Our dispatchers were getting calls of people in the roadway, including children, grabbing what appeared to be money and impeding traffic,” Sheriff James McVicker said in a release to the Bladen Journal.

Once on the scene, officials recovered $34,465 of the fake money, multiple outlets reported, including $100, $20, $10 and $5 bills. Some of the money was clearly fake, with the words “For Motion Picture Use Only,” marked on them, the Fayetteville Observer reported.

The total amount of counterfeit money taken by residents before officials arrived is unknown, McVicker said, but TV station WECT reports the sheriff’s office wants anyone who did pick up some money to turn theirs in.

LaVendrick Smith; 704-358-5101; @LaVendrickS

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