A young pair of friends has been caught red handed with £18,000 worth of forged notes, westernmorningnews.co.uk reports.
Keith Palla and Michael Turner, both 22, returned from a weekend away in London when they were stopped after police noted them acting suspiciously in the Stoke Hill area of Exeter.
After conducting a quick search, officers found the counterfeit cash in a bag under the driver's seat of the pair's car.
The discovery surprised locals and showed the importance of checking tendered cash by local businesses which don't want to get caught out with forgeries.
Palla and Turner first claimed the forgeries belonged to a third man called Michael Ashman to whom the pair had given a lift on their return to London. Police, however, found that pair's fingerprints on the notes and they were subsequently arrested. None of Ashman's prints were discovered on the notes.
Both men, from Torquay, went on to admit being in possession of counterfeit notes and were sentenced to a combined total of over a year.
Palla was handed a seven month sentence, suspended for 18 months. He was also curfewed and ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid community work. His partner in crime Turner was given a six month sentence, suspended for 18 months, and was ordered to undertake 60 hours of community work.
Afterwards, both men stuck with their story that the money belonged to their passenger and the only reason their fingerprints were on the notes was because they had counted them.
Both were put on supervision, thisisexeter.co.uk reports.