EVERETT, Wash. — Everett police are looking for a suspect who they say scammed a young boy running a lemonade stand by giving him a fake $100 bill.
Jeremy Ryzhonkov is a young entrepreneur. He just turned 12 this week and already has a vending machine business, lawn mowing business, and snack stand.
“I think there's nothing in the world that is free,” said Jeremy.
Three weeks ago, Jeremy was in his usual spot on Beverly Boulevard selling lemonade and snacks. He said two men bought 20 bucks worth of drinks and food and asked if he could break a 100-dollar bill.
Jeremy used all the money he had to give them change. After they left he noticed the money looked weird.
“The numbers looked different on each color and the hundred dollar bill was smaller and the color was kind of different,” said Jeremy.
Jeremy then ran to a nearby gas station for help.
“I asked is it real or fake and he said it’s not real.”
The gas station worker called the police who are now looking for the suspect accused of giving Jeremy bogus bucks.
“Very exhausted from working all day on a sunny day and felt very sad and disappointed,” said Jeremy.
Jeremy was using half the money to help fund some of his businesses and for spending money. The other half was to help other families like his still in war-torn Ukraine.
“I felt really bad that they have to suffer through this,” said Jeremy.
The bad guys didn't deter him. Jeremy was back out Friday selling food and drinks.
Neighbors were looking out for him, giving him a marker to detect counterfeit bills and buying snacks to help him get his money back.
A neighbor has set up a GoFundMe to help Jeremy, and it brought in thousands of dollars in the first 24 hours.
Everett Police said this case struck a particular chord. Police are currently going through tips and asking anyone who recognizes the suspect to come forward with information.