Canadian Frank Bourassa is a conterfeiter. He successfully made $200 million in fake twenty dollar bills.
But it wasn’t easy for him to get to this point. Frank took all the necessary steps to produce the money. He sourced the paper. The paper included legitamate looking watermarks
and was the same material as the real deal. He sourced the printer. And he sourced the means to make it all happen.
He has a list.
1. Getting the Feel Right – Real bills, made on complex presses, have raised ink. To fake this on the cheap, Frank slid his through an embosser to add a hint of texture.
2. Distinctive Digits – To make his bills unique—like real currency—Frank added alphanumerics with a desktop printer and shiny green ink.
3. Security Threading – Before the paper leaves the mill, a minuscule band gets worked in. On it there’s a tiny U.S. flag and “USA TWENTY.” Frank got his phony facsimilies via a ruse about a $20 bond he was printing.
4. Tiny Text – Designed to foil amateur printers and crap scanners, microprinted lettering here reads “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 20 USA 20 USA.”
5. Watermarking – As the paper is made, a faint potrait is stamped (not visible here). Frank figured his Swiss mill wouldn’t recognize Jackson as the guy from the twenty.
6. Perfect Paper – The cotton-and-linen recipe for currency paper is so well-known to paper mills that merely asking around to buy some can put cops on your doorstep.
So, where did he begin?
“He paid a few visits to the U.S. Secret Service’s website, which, handily, offers an in-depth illustrated guide to serial numbers, watermarks, plate numbers, and all the other fussy obstacles to the counterfeiter’s art.”
He then spent $125,000 on a printer. Not your average inkjet.
$15,000 for a company in Germany to make a face similar to Andrew Jackson’s, etched out.
Conviced a company in Swtizerland to add security strips and chemicals to prevent pens and black lights from working.
He also asked them to add linen. Real currency is 75% paper 25% linen.
Once samples were perfect from the company, he spent $50,000 on the paper.
He successfully printed his bills with the tools he had, and eventually had his product.
Now it was time to sell.
Frank had to find a client to buy the bills. (Never circulate them yourself) and would sell them for 30% of their face value.
Clients popped up here and there, but the product was only bought in small quantities. One of the clients turned out to be an undercover cop and a raid soon followed on Frank’s residence.
He didn’t do any serious jailtime and after bail was out in 6 weeks. But the government wouldn’t stop patronizing Frank. Trying to set up stings and trick him, the police were relentless. Frank never bit.
One year later his trial was set. They wanted to give him 3 years in prison.
Frank came up with an idea instead. Trade the 200 Million Dollars and his printing press for freedom. They agreed.
The U.S. Secret service was unto him though. They wanted to apprehend the evidence before the official exchange would occur, and lock Frank up.
The exchange however happened swiftly and the $200 Million were traded to Royal Canadian Mounted Police for his freedom.
The Secret Service later found out (unknown to the RCMP) that Frank actually orderded enough paper for $250 Million.
Frank not only figured out how to make fake money, but also how to escape jail time (legally) and still keep $50 Million to himself.
You can read about it here.