This weekend the Associated Press published a review of a new book, "The Art of Making Money: The Story of a Master Counterfeiter", by Jason Kersten. Here are some excerpts. -Editor When the Federal Reserve Bank debuted a redesigned $100 bill in 1996, it was trumpeted as the most high-tech, counterfeit-proof currency to date. It took Art Williams four months to produce a convincing duplicate of it.
Williams' forgery wasn't the first copy of the new c-note - others had emerged on the black market while he was serving a prison sentence. But his was among the best available, and caused a stir among his associates in Chicago's criminal underground, who immediately placed orders for hundreds of thousands in bogus dollars.
Even before the $100 bill's redesign, counterfeiting was considered one of the most difficult criminal endeavors, and an ancient, nearly forgotten art. The new c-note, with its color-shifting ink and special chemical composition that responded to a counterfeit-detecting pen, presented challenges that intimidated more experienced counterfeiters than Williams.
But Williams' persistence was matched only by his ingenuity in defeating the bill's security measures, often finding the answers in unexpected places. (He discovered that paper from the telephone book passed the pen test. He mimicked the ink with automotive paint and a rubber stamp.)
"The Art of Making Money" is reminiscent of con-men stories, such as Frank Abagnale's con-artist memoir, "Catch Me If You Can," or "Bringing Down the House," Ben Mezrich's tale of card-counting students.
To read the complete article, see: 'Making Money' worthy con-men book addition (www.bradenton.com/entertainment/story/1491161.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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