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Columnist
Grayslake man carries fake $20 too far
By Tony Gordon | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 5/26/2010 12:01 AM

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Often when we embark on an endeavor, a signal is received.

Go back, the signal says; change course, retreat.

The bold press onward, the prudent come up with another plan. And the bold can wind up in handcuffs.

Such was the recent case of Averkios Livas of Grayslake, who tried just a little too hard to get his brother out of jail.

Assistant State's Attorney James Newman said Livas' brother was picked up on a Cook County arrest warrant on Feb. 11, and needed $1,000 to get out of the local hoosegow.

Livas told police that he went to an automated teller machine and withdrew $1,000, all in $20 bills, and headed to Waukegan to spring his sibling.

But as the officer at the booking desk was counting the money, he pointed out to Livas that one of the $20s he was offering was a fake.

"Truly bogus," Newman said. "Wrong size, wrong color, nothing about it was right."

Not wanting to press the issue, the booking officer gave the bill back to Livas and told him to come up with a real bill to complete the bond transaction.

Livas went first to a restaurant across the street from the jail to swap the bill for a real $20, Newman said, but the cashier spotted the fake and also sent Livas packing.

Livas left the restaurant but did not go far, Newman said, as he tried to exchange it with some people in the parking lot who also turned him down.

Rather than throw in the towel and find someplace to get 20 more real dollars, Newman said Livas returned to the jail with the fake $20 buried in the stack of real money he had.

A second officer also spotted the fake bill, conferred with the first officer who had caught it and the decision was made to bring the little charade to a halt.

Livas was charged with forgery, and last week was placed on probation for a year when he agreed to plead guilty to attempted forgery.

Newman said Livas was also ordered to complete 150 hours of public service and to pay a fine of 500 actual dollars.

A good walk:

A sizable crowd turned out May 15 for the Champions 4 Children Walk at the Lakewood Forest Preserve.

A fundraiser to support the Lake County Children's Advocacy Center, participants were given the choice between walking 2.5 or 5 miles to support the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases.

Center Director Laura Notson said the receipts were still be tallied last week, but she believed substantial funds had been raised to offset pending budget cuts.

One of the striders in support of the center was Chief Circuit Judge Victoria Rossetti, who was part of the committee that created the center in 1987 when she was an assistant state's attorney.

"I was really encouraged by all the members of the public who came out to participate," Rossetti said. "They do important work at the center, and it is gratifying to see so many people who appreciate that."

If you could not make the walk in the woods but would still like to contribute, please call (847) 377-3155.