Valentine’s Day is traditionally a day where love blossoms and couples spare no expense to impress their significant other. In Sumter, South Carolina, Michael Williams surely would have impressed his date….. If he didn’t get arrested for proving he’s one of the dumbest criminals alive. Williams attempted to pay his Valentine’s Day, Applebee’s restaurant bill with a TRILLION dollar bill.
The details of this Valentine’s Day caper gone bad go something like this: Michael Williams, 53, had just finished his meal at an Applebee’s restaurant in Sumter, at around 1 pm. When his check was brought out, Williams tried to pay the bill with his debit card. Unfortunately for him, the debit card was declined – ironically, for a lack of funds.
The Sumter Police Department (SPD) report that he then offered to use a “one trillion dollar bill” as an alternative form of payment. It’s unclear whether Williams actually tried to pass the trillion dollar bill as currnecy, or if he thought he was a budding comedian. Williams’ problem though was that the Applebee’s staff didn’t find his payment of choice very humorous. They promptly called the authorities.
When the officers arrived at the scene, they didn’t book Williams for counterfeiting or other serious crime relating to the trillion dollar note. However, they did run his record through processing and discovered that he was wanted on a more serious, unrelated charge of contempt of court. Williams was taken from the scene to the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center and given a $260.00 bond. No word if an associate paid Williams’ bond with any other homemade currency!
Currently, the highest value for a Federal Reserve note is $100 dollars, though there once was a $100,000 Series 1934 Gold Certificate featuring the portrait of President Wilson. Had Williams’ trillion dollar bill been legitimate, it would have provided a significant boost to the U.S economy and could have been used to pay out a large portion of the national debt.
Additionally, it is highly unlikely, even if the waitstaff had believed Williams’ “money” was real, that they would have been able to provide him correct change. Possibly, the waiter would have been given the biggest tip of his life!
The moral of this Valentine’s Day story is that if you know you are wanted in connection to any crime, no matter how minor you may think it is, do not draw the attention of law enforcement by trying to use fantastical denominations of currency to pay your Applebee’s bill. Michael Williams may go down in lore alongside other genius criminals who have been arrested or captured solely because of their lack of smarts.