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The E-Sylum:  Volume 8, Number 37, August 28, 2005, Article 15

ARTICLE ON COUNTERFEIT "SUPERNOTES"

Tom Fort forwarded an article from Slate magazine on
high-quality counterfeit U.S. notes. Here are some
excerpts:

"Undercover agents lured members of a smuggling ring to a
bogus wedding in New Jersey last weekend; many of the
alleged conspirators were arrested en route. The FBI claims
the international ring has trafficked weapons, drugs, fake
cigarettes, and more than $5 million in "Supernotes" to North
America. What are Supernotes?

Counterfeit $100 bills of very high quality. Government agents
say that most funny money falls into three categories. The first
two are relatively easy to spot. Traditional fakes come from a
process called offset lithography that produces phony dollars
without the "raised ink" feel of genuine bills. Digital forgeries,
made with high-tech scanners and printers, also lack the texture
of the real thing. Supernotes are more deceptive. They're printed
on cotton-fiber paper using the same expensive "intaglio" printing
presses used by the U.S. government. An intaglio press creates
tiny ridges on a piece of paper by forcing it into the ink-filled
grooves of an engraved plate at very high pressure. That's
what gives dollars "and Supernotes" their characteristic feel.

Government agents first discovered Supernotes in 1990. A very
experienced overseas cash handler identified one as a forgery
by the feel of the paper, even thought it was printed on an intaglio
press. The fake was as good as any the Secret Service had ever
seenó it even contained the right proportion of embedded red
and blue fibers that the Treasury Department uses as a security
feature."

"The Secret Service says the high-quality notes have detectable
flaws and that information about those flaws has been shared
with international banks. (They won't discuss the details in public.)"

To read the full article (registration required): Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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