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The Villages
Monday, June 17, 2024

Driver with fake decal on license plate claims he was short on money

William Francis Coughli
William Francis Coughlin

A man who put a fake temporary tag on his vehicle claimed he did so because he was short on money.

William Francis Coughlin, 54, of Riverview, was driving a white 2020 Hyundai Tucson at 3:40 p.m. Wednesday southbound on South Main Street at Cleveland Avenue when an officer ran the license plate and found the license plate had expired in 2021, according to an arrest report from the Wildwood Police Department. However, the officer noticed the yellow decal on the license plate indicated it was good through “7/24.”

During a traffic stop, Coughlin initially claimed the vehicle belonged to his father, whom Coughlin described as “incoherent at the moment and sick.” The officer indicated he would need to speak to the father and asked for his phone number, prompting Coughlin to admit he made the counterfeit decal “so he could use a vehicle and get by,” the report said. The Massachusetts native added that he did not have the money to renew the license plate.

The report noted the phony decal “was printed out, laminated, and cut into the shape that a typical decal appears as.”

He was arrested on a felony charge of counterfeiting and booked at the Sumter County Detention Center on $2,500 bond.

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