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Counterfeiting for the Beautiful People
February 25, 2009



Beauty Queen Counterfeiter

A former New Jersey beauty pageant contestant and 2007 Miss North Wildwood winner is in hot water for passing counterfeit $50 banknotes that she may have had a hand in making. Ashley Fuhrmeister has been released on her own recognizance. Ashley's mother, Kelly A. Nowacky and a third person, John Laughlin were also arrested and are still in jail having not been able to make their bail as of this posting.

Paper money counterfeiting is a tough business nowadays, even in the U.S. While many world banknotes feature copious amounts of anti-counterfeiting devices on their notes, the United States has been cautious about adding too many to our banknotes. A quick check of the BEP site indicates that only a handful of the features which are being developed by other companies world-wide are found on U.S. banknotes. Specifics on the security devices used on the $50 banknote, such as the micro printing illustrated here, can be found on the BEP site by clicking here. As friend and fellow blogger George Cuhaj tells me, it has been a slow and difficult process bringing U.S. banknotes up to speed regards anti-counterfieting devices.

In the meantime, I guess even beauty queens think copying U.S. banknotes is a managable endeavor. Maybe it's time to put more efforts into making the U.S. banknote more fundamentally sound, to discourage such thinking.



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About the Author
Tom Michael has been Krause Publications primary market analyst on more than 80 world and United States coin catalogs produced over the last 20 years. He came to KP in 1987 with a bachelor of arts degree in history, a master of arts degree in economics and a history of coin collecting stretching back to the 1960s. He began collecting world coins as a child by asking friends and relatives to bring coins back from overseas trips, visiting flea markets and having his mother watch for foreign coins in her register at the local grocery store. Today he works with a dedicated base of over 200 contributors to provide accurate market values for the five-volume Standard Catalog of World Coins series, as well as many specialty catalogs, including Coins & Currency of the Middle East and the fifth edition of Unusual World Coins.

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