Albert Lea couple among 8 admitting to widespread counterfeiting ring

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 28, 2011 - 11:26 AM

A husband and wife from Albert Lea, Minn., have admitted to participating in a counterfeiting ring that duped numerous businesses from the Twin Cities to Iowa and points in between into taking the bogus currency.

Heather A. Cameron, 34, pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday in Minneapolis to being among eight people, all of whom have now owned up to counterfeiting and passing many thousands of dollars in U.S. currency. Her husband, Travis A. Cameron, 31, entered his plea Monday.

Heather Cameron admitted that from late last year to June, she chemically washed $5 bills and reprinted them as $100s, then spent the bills. In return, she received actual currency and goods.

Travis Cameron admitted producing altered bills and then selling them for 50 cents on the dollar.

The Camerons and the others hit businesses stretching from Bloomington and Burnsville to Mankato, Rochester and into Iowa.

Authorities said that the bills were altered by washing legit currency with Easy-Off oven cleaner, then using a color printer to make higher-valued cash.

In the case of one of the eight, Vincent D. Tampio, of Faribault, sold $16,100 worth of counterfeit $100s to an undercover agent for $7,130. Tampio admitted to authorities that he had taught others how to counterfeit, according to separate charges filed in Rice County.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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