Secretary is charged with making bogus money Police say $20 bills were printed at home TTCBY: Del Quentin Wilber

October 13, 1998|By SUN STAFF

A secretary in the Howard County Department of Public Works is accused of forging $20 bills with a computer scanner at work and then trying to pass the bogus greenbacks during the weekend at a Columbia store, Howard County police said.

Charged with forgery and knowingly passing false bills is Jennifer Ann McCulley, 27, of the 4800 block of Montgomery Road in Ellicott City.

McCulley was released on $5,000 bail.

About 12: 20 p.m. Saturday, a woman tried to buy $260 in merchandise at BJ Wholesale Club on Snowden River Parkway, police said.

But a clerk suspected 13 of 14 $20 bills were fake and alerted a manager, who detained the woman and called authorities, police said.

Cpl. John Newman examined the bills, as well as five others, and found they had the same serial number, police said.

The woman allegedly scanned a redesigned $20 bill into her computer at the bureau of engineering and then printed $360 from her home computer, police said.

In the past two years, counterfeiting and passing of fake bills is up 400 percent in Maryland, according to the U.S. Secret Service.

Nearly all of the $338,262 in counterfeit money that has surfaced in the state this year was produced by color inkjet printers available at retail computer outlets, officials said.

Advancements in technology have put counterfeiting capability in any home that can afford to spend about $500 for a printer-scanner system, according to officials.

Pub Date: 10/13/98

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