Secret Service agents in Salt Lake City plan to take an unusual counterfeiting charge before a grand jury Wednesday.
The case is unusual not because of the quality of the counterfeit bills but because of the denomination."What is unusual in my 22 years of experience is that I've never seen a counterfeit operation in less than $20 bills," said Dennis Crandall, resident agent in charge of the Secret Service bureau in Salt Lake City.
But a box full of bills discovered by South Salt Lake police officers was full of phony $1 and $5 notes - which hardly seems worth the trouble a 20-year-old Kearns man is in after being accused of printing the bills at his parents' South Salt Lake printing business.
Federal agents had been looking for the source of counterfeit money that had surfaced in West Jordan, where a 17-year-old Kearns youth was arrested after trying to pass the money at a gas station.
Secret Service agents were called in after South Salt Lake police discovered a box full of fake bills when they searched the car of a man arrested early Sunday on a traffic violation.
Crandall said the Secret Service is inundated, nationwide, with cases of people using copying machines to make fake bills used to defraud coin changers and vending machines. But seeing a full-blown printing operation printing such small bills is unusual.
"Possibly that was some of their thinking - that a $5 bill doesn't raise eyebrows," Cran-dall said.
Agents recovered printing plates, negatives and counterfeit bills from a trash bin behind the printing shop. They believe less than $10,000 in bad bills was produced.
Crandall said the suspect is an employee at the family-owned print shop, but the agent believes the boy's parents did not know of the operation. The suspect is cooperating in the investigation and is not in custody, he said.