Man gets 5 years for one counterfeit 50,000 won

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Man gets 5 years for one counterfeit 50,000 won


방배경찰서가 압수한 장씨의 위조지폐. 5만원권 진폐 일부와 복사한 위폐를 합쳐 만들었다.

A 46-year-old former industrial engineer surnamed Jang made a copy of a 50,000 won ($46.10) bill front and back on March 3 in his one-room studio in Songpa District, southern Seoul.

After making copies, Jang, who served a combined six years behind bars for making counterfeit money in 2003 and ’06 and was out on parole, exquisitely made a slit two-thirds of the way up the bill and split the bill.

He then put his fake bill on the other side of the separated bill with a lamination machine, employing a method that he had learned during his years as an industrial engineer.

With the counterfeit bill, Jang bought a doughnut near the Bangbae Station without the cashier noticing it was a copy.

Jang’s illegal activity, however, didn’t last long as the police were able to track him down with CCTV footage as well as credit card transactions at stores in the subway station.

The suspect’s prior convictions for producing fake bills also helped the authorities zero in on him.

The police found color printers, special-purpose paper for making holograms and a lamination machine during their raid of his house. They also found pieces of fake bills in a toilet that Jang had torn apart before his arrest.

The prosecution questioned the suspect on suspicion of making and distributing 37 other counterfeit bills that were found in banks in Songpa District, which Jang flatly denied. According to the prosecutors involved in the case, those 37 fake bills were so elaborately fabricated that even ATMs would take them.

The prosecutors failed to charge Jang for the 37 fake bills because it was impossible to trace back the fake money as the bills had already gone into circulation.

Authorities couldn’t confirm other criminal activities committed by Jang, which left them no choice but to indict him on the charges of producing and using one fake 50,000 won note on March 3.

The Seoul Central District Court said yesterday it did not acknowledge the prosecution’s claim that Jang made the 37 counterfeit bills, but instead made its ruling based on a charge brought against him for the single fake bill. The court, however, gave Jang a heavy 5-year-prison term.

“Though the amount of fake money confirmed to have been produced by the defendant is 50,000 won, the fact that Jang employed sophisticated forgery skills in making the fake money during his parole justifies a 5-year-jail term,” the court said in its ruling.

By Jeong Won-yeop []

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