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Published: Friday, 12/10/2004

Toledo man faces federal charge of printing counterfeit currency

Each day, the U.S. government prints about $696 million in currency. This year, an additional $30,000 made it into the market, leading the federal government to charge a Toledo man with counterfeiting.

George B.T. Rogers, 27, of 616 Yondota St., is charged with manufacturing counterfeit currency, an offense that is punishable by a possible $250,000 fine and up to 20 years in prison. An arraignment date has not been set.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Karol said Mr. Rogers is accused of reproducing $5, $50, and $100 bills on his computer. The charges were filed after an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service. Mr. Karol said he believes the bills came to the government's attention after they showed up at a bank.

Authorities believe the counterfeiting occurred between July and August, Mr. Karol said.

"He didn't get very far at all" with the scheme, Mr. Karol said. "Generally, they do not, especially those who do it with a computer. It's pretty unsophisticated."

According to the U.S. Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing, currency paper is composed of 25 percent linen and 75 percent cotton. Red and blue synthetic fibers of various lengths are distributed evenly throughout the paper. In more recent years, some of the bills also have been redesigned to thwart counterfeiters.

Often it is the substandard paper used that gives away a counterfeit bill, Mr. Karol said.

Mr. Karol declined to say if Mr. Rogers has a previous criminal record.

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