NEW PORT RICHEY (FOX 13) - Deputies in Pasco County said a simple setup, including a printer, a paper cutter and resume paper, was all it took to print several fake $20 bills.
"For most counterfeiters, if they're not using government paper by washing bills, they're using that brand, that size, that poundage and that paper," said Pasco County Detective Bruce Cohen.
Three suspects, Patrick Vonwellsheim, Sandra Combast and Donald Dewalt, were recently arrested after trying to pass the counterfeit bills at a 7-Eleven and a Walgreens on U.S. 19.
"They're all drug addicts and they were going to the store give them a $20 for a soda, get $18.50 in change and go buy pills," Cohen said
Cohen is an expert in spotting counterfeit bills. He said Tampa Bay has become a hotbed for fake cash because it's so easy to print.
There are many ways to spot a fake, but the easiest is to look at the serial numbers, Cohen said. If they are the same, the bills are fake.
"The federal reserve has never printed two bills the same serial number ever," he said.
In this case, the serial numbers were all the exact same. All three suspects are now facing felony charges.
"Counterfeiting is a damaging and hurtful crime that people underestimate," Cohen said.