Atlanta man pleads guilty to turning $5 bills into $100s

An Atlanta man pleaded guilty Monday to counterfeiting more than $1 million by turning $5 bills into $100 bills.

Vincent Gerome Rome Jr. admitted in federal court to creating $1.2 million in bogus cash and to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

“This defendant may have used an old-fashioned method to make counterfeit currency, but he made a staggering amount,” U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said Tuesday in a statement.

According to court records, for more than two years, Rome, 25, would bleach $5 bills using commercial solvent and cleaners. Then, he would run the white-washed genuine currency paper through printing presses to stamp $100 denominations on each bill.

He would then sell the fake money to others in metro Atlanta who would circulate the bills, primarily throughout the Southeastern U.S., authorities said.

When federal agents and other law enforcement officials searched Rome’s home in August, they found several soaking trays, including one filled with $5 bills soaking in a commercial degreaser, multiple printers, thousands of $100 bills and three firearms, authorities said.

Rome is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 7. The FBI continues to investigate.