MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - What should have been a day of profit for Mid-South Girl Scouts ended up being a major loss.
One Girl Scout mom said a person used a counterfeit bill to pay for cookies, and now her troop is left figuring out how to make up the loss.
Tagalongs, Samoas, Thin Mints – you name it, and Julie Tolbert is selling it. Tolbert heads up cookie sales for local Girl Scout troops 10339 and 10007.
What was meant to be a lesson in money management for the young girls ended up teaching them a much different lesson.
"I understand this is a lesson too, that not all people are honest," Tolbert said. "But it's not something I wanted to teach my girls at first and third grade."
During the last round of cookie sells, Tolbert said a patron paid for a box of cookies with a $100 bill.
It wasn't until she stopped at the bank to deposit the money she found out it was not real.
"'You know one of these bills is fake?' I said, 'Uh no, I didn't because I ran the pen on it,'" Tolbert said.
She said the bank representative told her the counterfeit $100 was printed on an old bill, making it hard to catch with the naked eye or even a counterfeit detection pen.
Tolbert said the money lost could have gone toward helping the homeless.
"They work really hard to earn a profit to do community service," Tolbert said.
But instead, these young entrepreneurs are left empty-handed and left to figure out how to recoup the loss.
"I feel angry and frustrated," her daughter Jasmine, a Brownie, said. "It feels like we are earning our badges for nothing."
Tolbert said as of right now, her troop is left on the hook for paying back the money lost.
Unfortunately, she said they have no way of knowing which customer passed off the fake $100 because they were selling at multiple locations that day, but she hopes this story will serve as a warning for others.