Security at Freeport shopping centre in Fleetwood caught a man who tried to use a fake £20 note.
CCTV cameras followed Paul Carroll as he disappeared from the Cabury’s shop and got into a parked car.
Police arrived in time to see him hiding something in the Volkswagen Golf – and it turned out 23 other counterfeit notes had been hidden in the vehicle.
Carroll, 32, of Longford Road, Birmingham, had admitted one offence of tendering and another of possessing counterfeit currency.
He was given 12 months prison suspended for 18 months, with 200 hours unpaid work.
He had the notes on a visit to the Blackpool area last September.
Sue Carter, prosecuting, said Carroll tendered one of the fake notes in the Cadbury’s shop at Freeport in Fleetwood, but a special pen showed it was a forgery. He then disappeared but was followed on CCTV cameras and seen to get into a car. The security team alerted the police and he was seen to hide something.
Clare Thomas defending said he accepted having known that the notes were not genuine.
She told the court “he did not come to the Blackpool area specially to spend the currency. He was here on a pre arranged visit with friends.”