No lucky pennies here: Paying a bill with the copper coin has led a man to be charged with disorderly conduct and a fine. His crime? Attempting to pay a disputed medical bill of $25 entirely in pennies.
The story, reported in the Desert News, describes the “penny offense” this way: The 38-year-old did not believe he owed the medical clinic $25 but came in to pay the fee in person. The patient asked if the office took cash, then dumped the thousands of pennies onto the counter and demanded that they be counted.
Perhaps West had not counted on the clinic calling the police. The officer in charge explained that the man’s behavior served “no legitimate purpose.” The cent-sational act led West to be charged with disorderly conduct, which carries a fine of $140. Let’s hope they take cash.
Of course, there are other penny protesters out there. A wise guy in Frederick, Maryland, showed up at the county clerk’s office last summer with bags of cash to pay off his tax bill with $966.86 in change.
And a New Jersey school district a few years back punished 29 students who paid for their $2 school lunches in pennies — possibly as a prank — with two-day detentions for their coin crime. After parents protested, the students were pardoned. The school explained that the use of the small change slowed down the lunch line.