The so-called “prop money” stuffed in Alexander Binker’s wallet — purportedly meant for a rap-video shoot — looked real enough to fool most anybody, Miami prosecutors say.
But the phony bills won’t be enough to put him behind bars.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office on Friday dropped Binker’s felony charge of possessing counterfeit money, saying it couldn’t prove that he actually intended to use it to scam anybody. Prosecutors made the announcement days after the Miami Herald reported on Binker’s case and on the prop-money industry that provides bills for movies, TV shows and rappers making it rain on camera.
Prosecutors said the play money was suspicious because it was mixed in with real bills in Binker’s wallet.
“A jury could instead reasonably infer several innocent explanations for the defendant’s possession of prop money, such as impressing a date, or flaunting pretend ‘wealth’ on social media,” Assistant Miami-Dade State Attorney Jonathan Borst wrote in a final memo on the case released on Friday.
Binker’s defense attorney, George Pallas, who had asked a judge to dismiss the charge, lauded the decision.
“The charge turned out to be as phony as the money,” Pallas said.
Prop money is designed to fool the camera, cartoonish and small enough in person that no one should be able to use them to actually buy anything in real life. Prop money is used in popular TV shows such as “Ozark,” “Breaking Bad” and “Narcos,” countless major movies and music videos.
Still, with the ease of buying bogus bills online, the proliferation of prop money has vexed law enforcement. Across the country, police departments have racked up arrests of people trying to buy stuff..
The money can even be purchased on mainstream sites such as Amazon, through third-party sellers, which hawk them for as little as $10 for a stack of 100 $20 bills.
“The Secret Service is working with the United States Attorney’s Office and eCommerce sites to remove these products from their websites,” a Secret Service spokesman said in a statement to the Miami Herald earlier this month.
Read more: Police found movie ‘prop money’ in his wallet. Prosecutors won’t press charges Bradenton Herald
October 28, 2019 at 10:09AM