There are entire websites devoted to the art of pulling off your dream wedding for less. Maybe you cut the guest list, or you make your own decorations. Maybe your cousin owns a restaurant and will cater the event at cost or you can tailor your mother's old wedding dress into something new and current. The list goes on and on. But one things for sure, no one ever suggested just printing your own money. Or, at least, they didn't until now.
A groom to be in Malaysia, who is also a solider, did just that. Facing what was sure to be a huge wedding bill, he dreamed up an elaborate scam involving fake Malaysian ringgit and an erroneous police report that's now sure to derail that oh, so special day.
The scam went like this: the soldier counterfeited some 4,000 Malaysian ringgit, or about $980 USD, with a printer and photocopier at his army base and then doctored some ATM withdraw slips to show that the money came from an ATM. He then brought the fake money, and the receipts, to the nearest police station and tried to claim that the ATM, not his printer, spat out some bootleg bills.
His hope was that the bank would reimburse him, swapping his fake ringgit with the real thing. But what happened instead is he set into motion an investigation that eventually ensnared himself in its net, according to the ironically named police chief Stanley Jonathan Ringgit.
Investigators seized 55 counterfeit notes, as well as the army base's copy machine, and is moving forward with the case. Under Malaysian law, the soldier could face up to 20 years behind bars for this poorly thought out wedding scam.
Counterfeiting remains a serious issue in much of Asia. In 2014, the Cambodian government seized $7.16 million USD counterfeit dollar-bills, the largest sum of fake currency to be seized in the region to date. Last year, China’s police seized around 214 million yuan that’s about $31 million USD, in Guangdong after cracking the biggest counterfeiting case in the nation’s modern history. And in North Korea, allegations have long swirled that a branch of the government was behind the circulation of near-perfect counterfeit US dollars, or "supernotes."
But, as far as we know, this is the first time a cash-strapped groom turned to black market bootlegs to fund his own wedding. So remember, before you fall into the same trap, the old vows go "for richer, for poorer ..." Now let's just hope this couple's vows also included a section about "in the free world, and in jail."