Three men have been indicted for allegedly running a bizarre "black money" scam.
Prosecutors say the defendants, including two Minnesota men, told a confidential informant that they had paper covered in a black substance that could be converted into actual currency.
The defendants allegedly said they could use "special chemicals" and apply physical pressure to clean the money and copy the markings of real currency onto the blackened paper.
Prosecutors say the defendants told the informant that if he provided $50,000, they would be able to give him $150,000 in return, after the money had been created.
Law enforcement officials arrested the men in Bloomington on Feb. 18, according to a statement released today by the U.S. Attorney's office.
Benjamin Garduwar Karbedeh, of Brooklyn Center, Minn., Sylvester Richards Gayekpar, of Maple Grove, Minn., and Timothy Sewro Boe, of Lawrenceville, Ga., have each been charged with one count of conspiracy to possess altered currency with intend to defraud.
Karbedeh and Boe were charged with two additional counts of possession of altered currency with the intent to defraud.
If convicted, the defendants face a potential maximum penalty of five years in prison on the conspiracy count, while Karbedeh and Boe face up to twenty years in prison on the possession count.
Gayekapr was convicted in October 2005 for his involvement in a similar scheme.