Feds say bills were bleached in scam at Walmart in Orlando

Orlando SentinelApril 21, 2013 

ORLANDO -- Federal authorities say an Orlando woman was running a counterfeit money operation out of her apartment, which involved bleaching genuine $1 and $5 bills and making them look like $100 bills.

The U.S. Secret Service began investigating Bianca Hudson in March 2012, after a Walmart asset protection manager told agents that cashier Neyjha Honor knowingly accepted counterfeit cash from a woman, according to a criminal complaint recently filed in the case.

Agents questioned Honor, who said she accepted roughly $3,500 in fake $100 bills from Hudson and an unknown man at various times, the complaint said.

Honor, who was employed at the Walmart on Turkey Lake Road, said when she was working March 11, 2012, Hudson and the man approached her at the register.

Honor said Hudson bought a small item and paid with a $100 bill, which was darker than a normal bill and felt different. The cashier gave her change from the register. Then, the man bought small items, paid with a fake $100 bill, and Honor also gave him change.

Honor said after she got off work that day, she met Hudson and the man in the parking lot and they paid her about $30.

Two days later, Hudson and the man again approached Honor at her cash register. They bought items and paid with several counterfeit $100 bills. After her shift that day, Hudson and the man paid Honor $100, the complaint said.

Then, on March 26, 2012, Honor said Hudson and the man used 21 counterfeit $100 bills to buy computers.

After her shift was over, Honor met Hudson and the man, who paid her $220.

Walmart officials gave the Secret Service the counterfeit $100 bills from the March 2012 transactions. Agents determined the items were printed on $1 and $5 bills that were bleached.

Not long after, in April 2012, Orlando police arrested Hudson on charges that she passed nine counterfeit bills.

Officers who searched her home at that time found counterfeit money, a computer, scanner, printer, pages of paper with images of the front and back of $100 bills, empty bottles of hydrogen peroxide and degreaser, the complaint said.

In such counterfeiting operations, genuine money is typically bleached with household chemicals to remove the ink. A new denomination is then printed on the paper.

These counterfeit bills often go unnoticed because markers used to detect fake money won't pick up on the fakes, because the paper is authentic.

Federal authorities in Orlando filed a criminal complaint against Hudson and Honor last month. On Tuesday, prosecutors charged Hudson with one count of passing counterfeit money.

Hudson is scheduled to plead guilty in the case Friday.

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