Large Counterfeit Money Bust in Watford City | VideoEvan Kruegel | 7/23/2012
"We were able to get a photograph of the female suspect, Kasi Switzer, passing one of the bills. We tracked her down to a residence, and subsequent interview and search led to their arrest," said Watford City Chief of Police Slade Herfindahl.
What they found was an intricate counterfeit scheme, with thousands of dollars of fake U.S bills ready to hit the streets.
"Laser printer, printer cartridges, packing paper, printing paper, they had holograms and security seals ready to go. There was a large amount of pre-printed bills ready to be glued and sprayed. Right now, we`ve recovered over $1,000 that has been passed around Watford City, Williston. I don`t know how much is out there, but its over $1,000 right now. We also found over $10,000 in counterfeit money at the residence that would have been placed into circulation. said Herfindahl.
Creating high quality counterfeit money is far from easy, but First International Bank CEO Stephen Stenehjem says the bills passing through his Watford City branch were some of the best he`s ever seen.
"These counterfeit bills were probably some of the best I`ve seen in my lifetime in banking. They were pretty sophisticated and had most of the features you look for when you`re checking to see whether a bill is real or counterfeit.
The bills looked like the real thing, but they were missing one important aspect of a legitimate bill: the feel.
"They didn`t feel like a U.S. bill. They felt a little shinier, a little smoother and that was one of the features that distinguished them, said Stenehjem.
Police do not know how much counterfeit money is still in circulation, but it could be thousands of dollars. Watford City Police have charged Kasi Switzer, Shawn Patton, and Travis Linseth with five counts each of Class C Felony Counterfeiting.
If you think you may have been given a counterfeit bill, you can take it to your local bank or law enforcement center for examination.