by Mindy Aguon
Guam - The U.S. Secret Service is putting local businesses on notice about funny money. Two people were recently charged in the District Court with possessing electronic images of United States currency. U.S. Secret Service Guam resident agent in charge Kevin Clifton urges residents and businesses to take a closer look at their cash.
He told KUAM News, "If someone goes into a place of business, like a store, and buys a very low dollar item like a pack of gum that costs 50 cents and they want to pay that with a $100 or $50 bill that would be a typical method of operation for a counterfeiter, because a counterfeiter wants to get the maximum amount of change back in genuine currency."
Clifton warns businesses not to rely only on the iodine pen but to utilize the other security features on bills, such as the water marks and the color shift test by looking at the lower right hand corner of the bill and see that when you shift the currency, the colors will change. Michael Basilio Badar and Reneelinette Penarubia Mesa were arrested last week accused of using a technique known as "washing" or "bleaching". The process takes actual real currency in lower denominations and with some computer scanning and printing, a larger denomination is placed on top.
According to court documents, Mesa admitted that she and Badar bleached more than 210 counterfeit bills.