A Maryland woman and other state residents face federal counterfeiting charges for printing fake $100 bills and using them to get at least $95,000 in real money, prosecutors say.
Keara Unique Davis and at least two other people printed fake cash for at least two years and used it to buy merchandise at Nordstrom, Target and Home Depot stores in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, prosecutors said. Then, they returned the items and the stores gave them genuine bills.
Davis and her codefendants used fake $100 bills to buy items at stores including Nordstrom in Bethesda, Lanham and Columbia, and Target in Hyattsville, Largo and District Heights. The codefefendants' names were redacted in court documents filed last week.
Once a cashier accepted one of the phony bills, a member of the crime ring told the others, who would then go to the same cashier.
Then, Davis and the others returned the items and got genuine cash back, prosecutors said.
The indictment says Davis and someone else had "linen copy paper" and an "Envy 4520 HP Printer." That's a color photo printer that sells for less than $100.
They were able to get real cash in exchange for the fake bills for at least two years, from about 2017 through 2019, prosecutors said. It wasn't immediately clear why the spree ended.
News4 broke the story on Twitter, where the news inspired quips about the printer and the crime's similarity to an episode of the NBC show "Good Girls."
Prosecutors said ordinary printers are now used to make counterfeit cash.
"Historically, counterfeiters have used a variety of means to make counterfeit U.S. currency. However, in recent years, the majority of counterfeiters made counterfeit currency using standard printers that could be purchased at most electronic retailers," the document says.
The catch: some of the bill's security features are missing.
Davis and her codefendants were indicted last week.