The Nation: Pushbutton Counterfeiters

Counterfeiting is no longer the privileged scam of the master engraver. A new generation of duplicating machines, capable of copying in living color, threatens to open the field to anyone able to push a button. Technology, laments Richard Thornburgh, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, "has brought counterfeiting ability down to the rankest amateur."

About a dozen incidents have come to Thornburgh's attention. A Los Angeles woman, fired by her employer, made a dozen copies of her last paycheck and cashed them all; an East Coast bank was taken for a total of $25,000 when someone cashed...

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