Alchemy Still a Myth, Suckers Still Born Every Minute

Scam To 'Transform' $20 Bills Leads to Arrest

from Star Tribune

COON RAPIDS, Minnesota - It seemed too good to be true, and it was. But a Coon Rapids grocery owner gave a currency-creating scheme an expensive tryout.

Foley Foods owner Nou Chang, 52, told police that Franklin T. Forlemu, 22, of Savage came to his store several times this fall trying to sell him a chemical potion that he claimed would turn white slips of paper into U.S. currency.

According to the complaint, Forlemu went to Chang's store, slipped blank pieces of paper between some $20 bills, donned a breathing mask and poured his mysterious concoction over the pile. When he was done, the blanks looked like twenties to Chang.

Forlemu told him to get large sums of cash, and Chang came back with $70,000 in $100 bills.

He watched Forlemu put the blank slips between them and pour the solution on the stack, then wrap the wad in tinfoil and pour on more.

Forlemu said the money and paper must be sealed for three hours before opening the windfall. But when Chang finally unwrapped the tinfoil stack, he found nothing but white paper.

But police found in Forlemu's apartment $70,000 in cash that Chang had given him, apparently in hopes that it would be multiplied.

Bryan Lindberg, an Anoka County prosecutor for 20 years, said the scam "is the most creative one I have seen."


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