Michael Williams, 53, had just finished a meal at a local branch of the Applebee’s restaurant chain in Sumter, SC, at around 1pm on 14 February.
When restaurant staff brought him the bill he tried to pay with a debit card – but that was declined, The State said.
The Sumter Police Department (SPD) said he then offered to use a “one trillion dollar bill” as an alternative form of payment – though it remains unclear how seriously Williams himself took the attempt.
Waiters at Applebee’s evidently weren’t amused, and called the police.
On arrival, officers from the SPD decided to overlook the fiasco with the “one trillion dollar bill” when background checks showed Williams was wanted on a more serious, unrelated charge of contempt of magistrate’s court.
While police continue their investigations, Williams has been given a $260 bond amount at the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Centre.