from the incentives-for-aspiring-counterfeiters dept.
Rhonda Schwartz reports that master counterfeiter Frank Bourassa has been allowed to walk free after turning over a huge quantity of fake US $20 bills that authorities say are "not detectable by the naked eye." "I'm safe, absolutely," says Bourassa after paying a $1,500 fine in Montreal, Canada, and spending only a month and a half in jail after Canadian authorities agreed that they would not extradite him to the United States for prosecution. "They can't do nothing about that." Bourassa's fake $20 first showed up in Troy, Michigan in 2010 and US and Canadian authorities spent almost four years tracking the source to Bourassa. "To detect the counterfeit on this one is very difficult," says RCMP investigator Dan Michaud. Bourassa says he spent two years studying the details about currency security on the website of the US Secret Service to learn how to produce his fake money. Although special security features were added to US $100 bills in 2010, security features added to the $20 in 2003 have not been updated since then. US bills are "the easiest of them all" to counterfeit says Bourassa, because they are not printed on polymer. "Even third world countries in Africa have polymer bills already."
The RCMP and the US Secret Service raided Bourassa's home, but he still had a card to play because authorities did not know where the remainder of his special paper and fake twenties was hidden. In the end, Bourassa agreed to turn over the remaining fakes and paper in return for a deal his lawyer worked out with Canadian prosecutors that let him walk free. Bourassa regards his accomplishment as a complete victory over the United States government. "It was, like, screw you."