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Shopping spree, old $100 bills leads to arrests in Upstate

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Shopping spree, old $100 bills leads to arrests in Upstate

This Sept. 24 photo shows a house owned by Lois Brown in Gaffney, S.C. Brown's husband died in 2003, hiding $100,000 in the home's basement. Police said two air conditioning workers found the money in 2010 and kept it for themselves, going on a spending spree.

GAFFNEY, S.C. -- Authorities say the sudden appearance of old $100 bills in Gaffney led to the arrest of two air conditioning workers.

Police say 87-year-old Lois Brown told the workers that her husband hid $100,000 in the basement just before he died in 2003. Brown told the workers that if they discovered the cash, she would give them a big reward.

Investigators say 50-year-old Joey Reed and 47-year-old Elie Spencer found the money during the September 2010 work, but didn’t tell Brown. Instead they started buying a used car and a big-screen TV with bills so old they didn’t have the security thread or off-center Benjamin Franklin portrait.

The men are charged with grand larceny. Their lawyers didn’t return messages. Brown has sued their employer to try to get her money back.

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