Managers at two Manhattan Taco Bells cooked up the Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme™ of counterfeit scams and forced at least one employee to participate under false threat of arrest, according to a lawsuit.
The suit, reported in the New York Post, alleges that a 17-year-old employee was told she had to give out obviously fake 20-dollar bills to customers as change after management falsely accused her of accidentally accepting two counterfeits. She did, for two weeks, before deciding to put her foot down, at which point four supervisors told her undercover NYPD detectives were in the restaurant to arrest her.
The bills, allegedly manufactured by the managers, were "terrible"—slightly smaller than actual twenties, and apparently printed on a laser jet, then thrown in a drier to appear used—according to Richard Garbarini, the lawyer representing the girl's mother.
After the unwitting teenaged accomplice was threatened with arrest, she fled to a police precinct carrying the bills and an audiotape she'd made of a conversation with management. From the Post:
But her bosses weren't aware that she was secretly taping the meeting and had already recorded a conversation in which she was ordered to distribute fake bills.
"Fearing for her freedom and safety," she walked straight to a police station afterward, armed with the audiotapes and a fake bill she kept as evidence, the suit says.
"A kind sergeant spent 30 minutes listening . . . and repeatedly reassured her she was never going to be arrested, and there were no undercover cops in the Taco Bell," the suit says.
A police spokesman could not find any record of a charge or open investigation into the case, the Post reports.