Saturday July 30, 2011

Berkshire Eagle Staff

PITTSFIELD -- A mother and son accused of passing a pair of counterfeit $100 bills say they had no idea the money was fake.

Kathy A. Tierney, 51, said she and her 19-year-old son, Wayne T. Tierney, "are the victims here. We really are."

Police have charged both of them with using the fake cash.

On Friday, Wayne told The Eagle he had lent $150 to an acquaintance he knew only by his first name and nickname. The acquaintance paid him back $300 because the person acknowledged the repayment was made eight months after the loan, according to Wayne. Wayne claimed the acquaintance gave him the bad bills.

Wayne said he couldn’t tell they were fakes. "They looked like they went through the wash when I received them," he said.

Kathy said she went shopping with her son at the CVS on West Street on Sunday, when she used one of the $100s, a transaction preserved on the store’s surveillance video, according to police. During a trip to the store on Wednesday, she was arrested -- an experience Kathy called "humiliating."

Kathy said she had "no inkling whatsoever" the bills were counterfeit.

Wayne bought $6 worth of candy from the Beacon Cinema on Tuesday, and police say he used one of the counterfeit $100s to do it, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Pittsfield Police Department.

Wayne was also arrested on Wednesday.

In a report, police stated the money was obviously counterfeit. During police questioning at the station, Wayne said the bill was presented to him. Police had ripped the bill in half, he stated, and at that point the money appeared fake to him.

Both live on Worthington Street in Pittsfield. In Central Berkshire District Court on Thursday, their not guilty pleas were entered to one felony count each of uttering a counterfeit note.

Both are out on personal recognizance and are due back in court Sept. 20 for a pre-trial hearing. They said they have been appointed a public defender.