Tarshema Brice hardly ranks among the world’s elite counterfeiters. But with the help of modern consumer technology, she developed an exacting system for crafting fake U.S. greenbacks.
First, the 34-year-old hairstylist and janitor took $5 bills with a specific watermark and soaked them with “Purple Power” degreaser. Next, she scrubbed off the ink with a toothbrush. After drying the now-blank notes with a hair dryer, she fed them through a Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) Co. 3-in-1 inkjet printer that emblazoned them with scanned images of $50 or $100 bills.
The counterfeits looked and felt real and could pass any rudimentary test by a retail clerk.