West Point public defender arrested for allegedly using counterfeit money to pay for dances, drinks at Commotions

Published 5:04 pm Wednesday, April 12, 2023

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The City of West Point’s public defender was arrested Friday after allegedly trying to use counterfeit money to pay for drinks, tips and dances at Commotions adult entertainment club in LaGrange.

Brian Joel Aplin, 38, was arrested and charged with forgery-first degree, a felony, according to a LaGrange Police Department incident report. A glass smoking device with suspected marijuana residue and a clear plastic tube containing a yellow gelatinous substance were also in his possession. According to the report, testing from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation will determine if additional charges are warranted related to drug charges or drug-related objects.

The $100 bills Aplin allegedly used said “for motion picture purposes” and also said “in props we trust.”

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Aplin told the LPD he had purchased movie money from Amazon and said it was just a joke. He said he would pay with the fake money, wait until he was told it wasn’t real money and then pay with legal tender.

Aplin told police he paid with the motion picture money four times at Commotions. The report says he paid three dancers and a bartender with the counterfeit money.

One of the dancers asked him to prepay and he gave her one of the counterfeit bills, which she immediately turned over to Commotions staff members.

The bartender told police Aplin had requested a bucket of Coors Light, and since Aplin was a regular, she did not check the bill closely. When she noticed the counterfeit bill and went back to Aplin, she told him she was supposed to call law enforcement and confiscate the bill.

Another dancer was given a counterfeit $100 bill and asked to dance on a nearby patron. The fourth bill was given to a dancer as a gift for her birthday, though she did not realize it was fake until another employee approached her later to let her know Aplin had been using counterfeit bills.

Aplin has served as the West Point public defender since 2021, according to previous reporting by The LaGrange Daily News and The Valley Times-News.

Aplin could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.

West Point Mayor Steve Tramell said he was unaware and had no comment.