Man in Trouble After Paying $25 Bill With 2,500 Pennies
Move may cost Jason West an extra $140
By Sarah Whitmire, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2011 10:09 AM CDT
Making that $25 payment probably took quite a load off Jason West's shoulders.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A Utah man was cited for disorderly conduct after he paid a disputed medical bill—because he happened to settle his tab with 2,500 pennies. Though Jason West did ask clinic workers if they accepted cash, they probably weren't expecting him to dump an avalanche of coins on their counter as payment of the $25 bill. West, 38, apparently believed he didn't owe the money to the clinic, reports the Deseret News. He demanded that the workers count each penny, and left when clinic staff said they were calling police.

But the cops caught up with him, and noted that his actions served "no legitimate purpose." Added an assistant police chief, "The pennies were strewn about the counter and the floor." The infraction could carry a fine of as much as $140—which the AP points out is 14,000 pennies.

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Showing 3 of 44 comments
rakewell
Jun 8, 2011 9:58 AM CDT
To all the armchair lawyers: "There is no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise. For example, a bus line may prohibit payment of fares in pennies or dollar bills." http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/faqs/Currency/Pages/legal-tender.aspx
darkness_falls
Jun 7, 2011 11:33 PM CDT
I hope that's the whole story, cause if it is, I'd take the cops to court over an unlawful arrest. Pennies are legal tender, they can't do anything about it. If I had only 2500 pennies to pay a $25 bill, I'd do it. Hospitals and clinics already charge too much as it is. Kudos to this guy.
gzuckier
Jun 7, 2011 10:51 PM CDT
Last time I saw the law, it said pennies were only legal tender up to 25 cents. Of course, that was about 40 years ago. Designed for just such cases as this.