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Counterfeit Money Manufacturer Gets Prison Sentence

Jimmy Aitchison

counterfeit moneyIn another case highlighting just how widespread is the use of "washed notes", the Sacramento Bee reported today that a Lodi man had been sentenced to 30 months in prison for making and distributing over $277,000 worth of counterfeit money.

Court documents from the case reveal that the defendant used degreaser to strip the ink off $5 bills, and then printed images of $100 notes on the washed $5's using a color laser-jet printer. counterfeit currency

Fake money of this type can pass many "basic" examinations that a retailer might use to attempt to validate the note. For example, the security strip in the $5 is in almost the same location as the $100 note (until they redesigned the $5 in 2009 and moved the strip).  Also, the watermark of Abe Lincoln's face on the $5 is difficult to distinguish from the Benjamin Franklin watermark in the $100. 

Most importantly (and the reason why counterfeiters bother washing genuine notes) the washed note $100's pass the marker pen-test, since the way those pens work is that they perform a type of chemical test on the paper - which in these fake notes happens to be genuine.

Fortunately, UV Currency Detectors can enable validation of washed notes.  That's because the UV fluorescent strips are imbedded inside the paper and can't be washed-off.  So, if you are presented with one of these washed $5 bills reprinted into a counterfeit $100 note, and you have our UV-16 you would immediately see that the stip fluoresces Blue under the UV instead of Pink

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