(NEW YORK) — Millions of counterfeit dollars are flooding cash registers, and more often than not, this “funny money” is being manufactured using everyday office equipment, federal authorities said.
Heath Kellogg, a graphic artist known as “The Printer,” his father and four other men were busted in November after authorities said the men produced more than a million dollars in counterfeit bills.
The operation was shockingly simple. Kellogg, who is a self-taught graphic artist, and his team, allegedly used a printer to produce the front of fake $50 bills and printed the back of the bills separately before carefully gluing it all together.
“It’s easier today because the technology has gotten so good and people can make better fakes,” said Brad Garrett, a former FBI agent and ABC News consultant.
How-to guides, easily found on the Internet, guide people through the counterfeiting process.
A Rhode Island man was arrested in November after he allegedly learned how to use a chemical soap to rub off the ink on $5 bills, turning them into counterfeit $100 bills.
Despite the flood of fakes, the government said new security features on money, such as color shifting numbers and portrait watermarks that show the same face that’s on the front of the bill, do make a difference.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
John Newsome and Anne Woolsey, CNN