Counterfeit Cash Circulating in Rio Hondo
RIO HONDO – Piles of bags with evidence mounted on Rio Hondo Police Chief William Bilokury's desk Friday evening.
He showed a CHANNEL 5 NEWS crew some of the evidence confiscated at the 200 block of Mesquite Ave.
Counterfeit $10 and $20 dollar bills served as evidence to charge 18-year-old Noemi Rodriguez for producing and distributing fake bills at local businesses. Bilokury said he’s unsure how much forged money managed to circulate through town.
Bilokury says Rodriguez used paper to print some of the fake cash. Another wad of the counterfeit money was produced using real cash.
According to police, Rodriguez would bleach one dollar bills then print over what appeared to be a $10, $20, or $50 dollar amount. This tactic passes the marker test since the original bill is official.
Rio Hondo native Juan Juarez fell victim to the phony bills. He didn't realize he was handed a fake bill until hours later. Juarez said he spotted the fake bill "because it was very wrinkled."
Bilokury said under close inspection his department can spot the counterfeit cash.
"When they [government] print on there, it's real fine detail and you look at it with a microscope or you can use a magnifying glass, you can see that real detailed print; it's real crisp. All the lines on the president's face are micro printed. When they [non-governmental agencies] try to replicate that with a home computer, all that ink just saturates in so you don't have that crisp detail. It's all fuzzy."
Chief Bilokury said people need to look for the following to spot the fake cash.
- No watermarks
- Paper texture (versus a real bill that has cloth-like texture)
- No reflective ink
- Lacking a hologram strip on the right half of the bill
- Lacking images that appear when put up against light.