The arrests of four main counterfeit bill manufacturers may slow the flow of fake money in the Columbus metro area.
Jonathan Schuck, resident agent in charge of the Columbus Secret Service Office, said thieves manufactured $80,000 worth of counterfeit money per week from November to April.
Last year, the agency collected just $500,000 worth of counterfeit money.
Schuck said 80 percent of all counterfeits can be traced back to four main manufacturers in Columbus.
Yavaye Carter, Donald Compton, Paula Green, and Nathaniel Lee were all recently arrested for manufacturing counterfeit bills.
Schuck says with the four suspects behind bars, the amount of counterfeit money is starting to go down. He said the agency worked hard to track them all down.
Police say Compton was part of a ring of heroin users making counterfeit $20 bills.
Green was manufacturing cash and passing it in other states. Nathaniel Lee is a known offender; Schuck said he has a signature $100 counterfeit bill he makes.
Schuck said he wants to warn retail employees that the detector pen won’t work on some of the counterfeits.
He said most of these suspects are using real money and bleaching a higher amount on top of it. This technique is not detected by the starch pen.
Columbus Police Sergeant Dennis Kline says sometimes you can see the wrong president embossed in the bill when you look at it closely.
Sergeant Kline also said many of these manufacturers are making counterfeits to supply their drug habit. He said it’s a lot easier now to make fake cash with computers.
“You don’t need an artist or even someone with a science degree to do this. You just need someone who knows how to operate a computer and a willingness to do so,” Kline said.
TIPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM COUNTERFEIT CASH:
- Use a black light to find the security strip
- Look at the cash in the light
- Make sure bills do not have the same serial number
- Check for the right president embossed in the bill
- Genuine cash has tiny red & blue fibers embedded throughout
- MORE TIPS: UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE