Friday, August 12, 2022

Will Smith to Adapt True Story of Counterfeiter Who Printed $7M Using Inkjet Printers from Staples

Will Smith attends the European Premiere of "Suicide Squad" at the Odeon Leicester Square on August 3, 2016 in London, England.
Will Smith attends the European Premiere of “Suicide Squad” at the Odeon Leicester Square on August 3, 2016 in London, England.

*Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment is adapting the true story of Albert Talton, a resident of Lawndale, Calif., who counterfeited $7 million of high-quality currency on a series of commercial inkjet printers that he bought from the office-supplies store Staples.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Overbrook’s Michael Ross will adapt the story, based on an article in the now-defunct Details magazine.

Albert Talton
Albert Talton

Below, more about Talton’s method of counterfeiting from a November 2009 article in Wired magazine:

When Talton set out to circumvent the US Treasury’s security measures, he had no experience in counterfeiting, graphic design or printing, and he didn’t even own a computer.

His first attempts were made with a Hewlett-Packard all-in-one inkjet printer/scanner/fax/photocopier, which could be picked up at the time for less than $150. Early experiments, printed on regular paper, were fuzzy, so he cleaned up the original image on a computer. But there was a problem, Talton says: “It wouldn’t take the mark.”

Hewlett Packard All-in-One inkjet printer/scanner/fax/photocopier

Counterfeit-detection pens mark yellow on genuine currency but brown or black on fake. Talton didn’t know why. At first he thought the Treasury treated the paper, so he experimented with chemicals he found at the garage and even tried dipping his notes in fabric softener. Nothing worked.

Frustrated, he began to take a detection pen everywhere he went, trying it on any paper he came across. He was about to give up when one day, in the toilet, he found himself staring at the roll of tissue. He took out the pen: the mark showed up yellow.

Talton discovered that toilet paper, Bibles, dictionaries and newsprint are all made from the same recycled paper pulp, and all take the yellow mark. Newsprint is strong, and it has an additional advantage for the large-scale buyer: as Talton puts it, “Newsprint is real cheap.”



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