A New Jersey man who made counterfeit money by printing images of $100 bills onto bleached $1 bills will spend the next five years in federal prison.
Hollis Forteau, 38, was the ringleader of a group that traveled to Virginia in December 2019 and January 2020 to get real money using counterfeit currency. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia said Monday in announcing his sentencing.
Forteau and his cohorts used $100 counterfeit bills to purchase items at a retail store and then returned those items at another branch of the same store in exchange for real money, prosecutors said.
Forteau of Willingboro made the $100 counterfeit notes by printing the images of genuine $100 bills onto $1 bills that he had bleached or “washed,” according to charging documents. According to prosecutors, Forteau used $1 bills “because the $100 counterfeit notes would feel genuine to the touch and could still appear genuine if store employees marked them with a counterfeit detection pen.”
The group avoided stores that used scanning machines to detect counterfeit money.
Court papers note Forteau traveled with a printer and laptop to make the fake cash.
Three of Forteau’s associates were arrested on Jan. 5, 2020, in the Williamsburg, Virginia area when an employee of a Sunglasses Hut followed their car and called police. Officers found counterfeit money and items they had purchased in the store, according to court papers.
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