Joseph G. Bylow, 31, and Rachel Eyskens, 24, started out printing bogus $1 bills on a computer and used them to pay for a meal at a Jack in the Box in Boise and to pay a Domino’s Pizza delivery driver in Eagle.
The next day, on July 17, they were questioned by Ada County sheriff’s deputies and readily admitted printing the counterfeit bills on a home computer and passing them at restaurants and stores in Boise, Eagle and Emmett.
The deputies seized the printer, sheets of cotton paper used for the bills, a paper cutter and sheets of finished bills. The couple were not arrested at that time, however, and they went back to work, this time focusing on $10 and $50 notes, according to federal plea agreements with the two defendants.
They used one of the $50s to pay for ice cream at Ice Cream Allie in Eagle on Aug. 7. When the business deposited the bill, a teller at Mountain West Bank determined it was counterfeit ... in a way.
The bill was authentic, only it was printed by the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing as a $5 bill. Bylow and Eyskens used various bleaches and carpet cleaners to strip the bill of its markings and then reprinted it as a $50 bill, according to the plea agreements.
Police returned to the residence and seized $500 of fake currency along with equipment and a notebook that contained instructions on how to make counterfeit bills.
Authorities later recovered $644 in counterfeit bills that the couple passed at businesses.
Bylow pleaded guilty Thursday to counterfeiting U.S. currency. Eyskens pleaded guilty to the same charge on Nov. 24. A second charge against both defendants of passing counterfeit currency was dismissed in exchange for their guilty pleas.
They face up to 20 years in prison.
Eyskens is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 2, followed by Bylow on Feb. 11.