Frank Bourassa counterfeited and sold $250 million in fake US currency until he was nabbed in an undercover operation. Now he runs a security company and works with the police to catch other counterfeiters. This is part two of a two-part episode. Catch up with part one here!
What We Discuss with Frank Bourassa:
- How someone creates a quarter of a billion dollars in American $20 bills that not only look genuine, but feel genuine even to experts.
- The hours of research that Frank spent learning how to create counterfeit money that would pass most muster without immediately going to jail on his first attempt.
- The catalyst that drove Frank to pursue a life of crime in the first place (and has probably tempted most of us to consider it from time to time).
- It takes money to make money: Frank reveals the startup fees that went into his operation to literally print the perfect $20 bills en masse.
- How much labor actually goes into a counterfeiting project at this scale — once you find a crew you think you can trust.
- And much more…
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Recognized by law enforcement as the first and foremost validated authority in the counterfeiting world today, Frank Bourassa didn’t start out trying to catch counterfeiters — he was a counterfeiter himself, shaking his money faker operation to the tune of $250 million in US$20 bills. When the formidable international task force intent on bringing him down eventually caught up with him, he managed to become a free man again after serving only six weeks in prison and paying a $1,350 (Canadian!) fine. How’d he manage that? Only Frank Bourassa and the feds know.
In this two-part episode, we’ll examine the extreme measures Frank took to create the most undetectable $20 bills ever made — and that are still in circulation long after Frank’s 2012 arrest (maybe you spent one today). We’ll hear about where the money went after he printed it, how he was eventually found out by the feds, and how he uses his talents to assist them today. This is part two of a two-part episode. Catch up with part one here! Listen, learn, and enjoy!
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THANKS, FRANK BOURASSA!
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Resources from This Episode:
- Frank Bourassa | Website
- Know Your Money: Counterfeit Awareness | United States Secret Service
- Frank Bourassa on How He Counterfeited $250 Million | Business Insider
- The Great Paper Caper | GQ
- This Man Made $250M in Counterfeit Money and Got Away with It* | GQ
- Can You Spot a Fake $100 Bill? The World’s Greatest Counterfeiter Shows You How | GQ
- How to Print $250 Million in Fake Money and (Mostly) Get Away With It | Vice
- Master Currency Counterfeiter Prints Millions, Says ‘Screw You’ to US | ABC News
- On Master Counterfeiter Frank Bourassa | Loyal Nana
Frank Bourassa | The World’s Greatest Counterfeiter Part Two (Episode 489)
Jordan Harbinger: Coming up on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:02] Frank Bourassa: When I have to give them the money, they get the money out in a parking lot at a hotel. It has been sitting there for two months. So we went to the truck and then when we got there, well, there was this whole thing. There was a canine unit. There was a bomb squad. They got sniffer dogs and this, and then, you know, they came to me and he said, "Listen, you know, there could be some scenarios. It could explode on the highway or something. Would you be willing to drive the truck to the RCMP headquarters?
[00:00:30] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people. We have in-depth conversations with people at the top of their game, astronauts and entrepreneurs, spies and psychologists, even the occasional former cult member or billionaire investor or rocket scientist. Each episode turns our guests ' wisdom into practical advice that you can use to build a deeper understanding of how the world works and become a better critical thinker.
[00:00:58] If you're new to this show, or you want to tell your friends about it, you can send them to jordanharbinger.com/start. That's where we put our starter packs. These are collections of your favorite episodes, organized by popular topics to help new listeners get a taste of everything that we do here on the show. Again, that's at jordanharbinger.com/start for you to get started or for you to help somebody else get started as well.
[00:01:21] Today, this is part two of my conversation with Frank Bourassa, the world's greatest currency counterfeiter who printed $250 million. And then maybe lost at all. If you haven't heard part one yet, go back and listen to part one. You're coming in the middle of the conversation here. Part one just came out a few days ago. We'd love to see you back here for part two.
[00:01:39] If you're wondering how we manage to book all these amazing folks for the show, it's always, always, always about the network. And I'm teaching you how to build your network for free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. Most of the guests on the show, they subscribe to the course. They contribute to the course. Come join us, you'll be in smart company. Now, part two with Frank Bourassa.
[00:02:03] How did you sell the bills? The problem is no one wants to buy sh*tty bills, but if you have amazing bills, they just look real. So they're so close to real. I would imagine that like, if I'm a criminal and you say, "Hey Jordan, look, man, I know you sell like stolen electronics. You want to sell some money." And I look at the money and I go, "This looks so real. I don't trust you now because there's no way you can make this. This is so close to real that I think maybe it's real you're setting me up." Right? But if they were crappy, then I would know that they were fake. But then I would say, "These are bullsh*t. They're fake. They're really obviously fake. I don't want them." So you were kind of caught in this rock and hard place. You had such good counterfeit money. People must've been scared to deal with you. I would imagine.
[00:02:49] Frank Bourassa: No, it is not how it works because good people will gather around good people, will work with good people. And assh*les will hang around with assh*les. It's just how it is, right? Criminal law operations are the same thing. Good criminals and there are bad terminals, you know, is there such a thing as good criminal, but you know, some will be legit.
[00:03:11] Jordan Harbinger: You mean like skilled, right? Skilled criminals.
[00:03:14] Frank Bourassa: Not just skilled but they are respectful, what they say, they will do. Their word count. They will not f*ck you. That will protect. They will work, you know, anything to get to the success of the operation. So good operation, you have a chain of solid people involved in it. And you know, sh*tty operation, well, you get more ops and it leads to a sh*tty result. So one of the reasons before I set up my crew, I had to have this discussion with them obviously. I said, "Hey, listen, I found something. You know, we've been talking and looking for something for a long time. I got something and I'm looking to do. So would you be interested? You know, I want you." And some of them were part of the marijuana trade and there were exporting budgets. Those are heavy workers. They deal with heavy stuff and heavy people. And so the clients were people that they knew and dealt with for a long time. So these people that they know. So it's not like, you're not in this world where I say, "Well, should I trust this dude? Should I not?" It's all people who know that other people. It's all reference. It's all based on the references. So you're not among strangers. You're among people of your kind that are vouched for by.
[00:04:42] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. You vet everyone and everyone's vetted by multiple parties. What does the price look like? Am I paying you like half the value of each bill? Or, you know, like if you give me a $20 bill, how much am I buying a $20 bill for?
[00:04:55] Frank Bourassa: Well, it was 30 percent. This is what the market price is really. So it's 30 percent.
[00:05:02] Jordan Harbinger: 30 percent. How did you find that out? Is it like, "Well on the market are charging 30 percent." How did you even know what to charge?
[00:05:10] Frank Bourassa: Well, same, like I explained, if you're around criminals, good, solid, reliable ones, well, they know. You know some people and those people know other people. You get where you have access to a ton of stuff, even though you don't know them personally. So, you know, if I want machine guns, I could give them machine guns. I don't do that but I know someone who knows someone, knows someone who's going to help. So whatever you need to know or do, you can get to it because of the network, the extended networks. Well, this guy asked. He's looking for that thing and said, "Oh yeah, yeah, he's good. You know, I worked with him for a long time. Yeah, sure, for him, tell him, I'll look into it." And so they will. So for your people, you will. Everything has a price if you want to know. Methamphetamine has a price, prostitution has a price and gambling and loansharking, so it's got a price somehow. It's the same thing for counterfeits. It's got a market price, the same thing. And so everybody in the business, well, they know what it is more or less.
[00:06:15] Jordan Harbinger: I know that you — in an article that I read, it said that a lot of the cocaine smugglers that you knew, they didn't want anything to do with the counterfeit currency. So you were finding it harder to sell—
[00:06:26] Frank Bourassa: Yes.
[00:06:26] Jordan Harbinger: —counterfeit US 20s than you would have, you know, cocaine. What's going on there? Why is that?
[00:06:32] Frank Bourassa: That really, really surprised — that was early in the operation. One of the first things that I started with client — you know, I didn't want every penny I had and you know, all this money, risk, all this stuff, and then you don't have no one to sell it to. What am I going to do, going to go?
[00:06:48] Jordan Harbinger: So you pre-sold all your fake '20s, right? Like make sure you have buyers first basically.
[00:06:53] Frank Bourassa: Yeah, exactly. So until you can have the conversation and all that, you didn't get to talking about that. This is when they tell you, "Oh, this is hard stuff. Are you talking about—?
[00:07:03] Jordan Harbinger: Like, "Dude, you sell bricks of cocaine. What do you mean this is the hard stuff? Come on."
[00:07:06] Frank Bourassa: Exactly. So you have this conversation. So you say, "Are you f*cking kidding me?" And at the same time, you know, this guy's legit.
[00:07:13] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:07:14] Frank Bourassa: You selected him and you said, "This dude, you know, he's selling containers of it. So whatever he says is what he thinks and whatever you think is what it is." I'm sure he finds it happy. He wouldn't say those he said. I don't know, I couldn't make sense of it, but they would all say that. And it kind of sets you back, you say, "Jesus, fuck."
[00:07:34] Jordan Harbinger: What am I getting myself into if a cocaine dealer won't touch this?
[00:07:38] Frank Bourassa: Yeah, exactly. And somehow — this is how totally screwed up that as well. I think it is. Other people might think differently, but counterfeiting is up there in the same level with murders and kidnapping. So drug dealing is way below. It doesn't make any sense to me to be this way, but they don't care whether it makes sense to me or not. That's just how it is.
[00:07:56] Jordan Harbinger: Huh.
[00:07:56] Frank Bourassa: And so it's riskier. Penalties are much differ. And so to them, it's really, really a big step up. And this is what they said. They didn't make sense. And I never had a thought along those lines before that because who would know. Right? I didn't.
[00:08:13] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:08:13] Frank Bourassa: And so it really, really, really surprised me. And so if hitting everything perfect, then your liberty is investing all your money. And one operation is a driving force enough for you to do good products. Well, this will. I just need to tell you right in, right there. This is going to need to be dead on. Otherwise, I'm not fucking in because I'm going to get busted for this. And then this will bring heat on me. And then the rest of my operation. So well, I'm telling you is you need to be dead on. Otherwise, I'm not in at all. But if it is, then I'm in. You know exactly what you need to meet. It needs to be it. otherwise, you're not in. Once you get to swallow that, — because it was hard for me to make sense of it. Then you say, "All right, I get it now. This is the orders, what you have to do.
[00:09:02] Jordan Harbinger: Fun fact, by the way, and I can't believe I found this, but I'm so happy that I did. Your first fake $20 bill was discovered by the authorities in Troy, Michigan. Is that correct, by the way? Do you know this?
[00:09:18] Frank Bourassa: I don't know. No.
[00:09:18] Jordan Harbinger: So your first fake $20 bill — I mean, it was spent everywhere, but like your first fake $20 bill that was discovered, and put into the secret service records that was found in Troy, Michigan. That is the town that I grew up in. It's not a big city. It's a regular town in Michigan.
[00:09:36] Frank Bourassa: What are the odds?
[00:09:37] Jordan Harbinger: And I thought, "Wait, what?" And I was reading this, like, I'm rubbing my eyes. Like, "Wait, what?" And you know—
[00:09:42] Frank Bourassa: Sure.
[00:09:43] Jordan Harbinger: —what's so weird about this is there's not a whole lot there. Right? It's like auto manufacturing, offices, and residential areas that used to be farms. And I thought, "Why the hell would this $20 bill be discovered in Troy?" And it got me thinking and I'm sure this is not the case, but it's funny to think about. I used to go to Windsor, Ontario all the time to go drinking because you know, you can be 19 in Canada and drink and in the US you had to be 21.
[00:10:10] Frank Bourassa: Yeah.
[00:10:10] Jordan Harbinger: So I just done with high school. All my friends, we had fake IDs because you couldn't have a fake ID that said you were 21 when you were 17, because it was so clear that you were 17 and not 21, but you could have a fake ID that said you were 19.
[00:10:23] Frank Bourassa: Yes.
[00:10:23] Jordan Harbinger: And nobody in America gave a sh*t because what are you doing? You're not buying booze with it. So you go to Windsor and you buy booze and nobody cares. So I'm thinking like, "Okay, me and my friends did this all the time. Did we bring back a fake $20 bill and spend it. And then somebody somewhere was like, "Wait a minute, this is fake." You know, like there's a part of me. That's like, "Maybe we brought that sh*t back into the United States." It's just funny that it's Troy, Michigan. It makes no sense at all. There's nothing freaking there.
[00:10:52] Frank Bourassa: I mean, the odds really — yeah. Well, it's possible, but it's really unlikely because what people don't know — you know, they made it sound in the news because this is what they need to do. They made it sound like, you know, they found Las Vegas, this and that. I'm not saying it's not true that they found it there. I'm sure it is because—
[00:11:10] Jordan Harbinger: A lot of strip clubs in Vegas.
[00:11:11] Frank Bourassa: Yeah. That type of thing. After all, it was all printed in this. So I wanted to make sure that this is just good business. I wanted to make sure my clients are buying it. They're not spending it. They're going to sell it to somebody else. I wanted to make sure that they could test. I wanted to say, "This is the sh*t that I have. I want you to test every bit, whatever you need to do. I want you to do that at zero fucking cost to you. And if it's as good as I say it is, because you see it is, then you come back. Then we're going to make a lot of money together." So I ended out — you know, I called sample and I gave a couple of wads to each guy.
[00:11:48] Jordan Harbinger: You're giving it away and be like, "Yo, test it and see if you get caught."
[00:11:52] Frank Bourassa: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:11:52] Jordan Harbinger: How much is it a sample that you're giving away?
[00:11:54] Frank Bourassa: No, but I mean, it's just like $2,000 little stacks. You have to give some of them, because it's a big network for them. So my direct line, he sells it to some of his people, some of these people, some of their people, and then some of them. So you want to just test all the way through. So I gave like 50,000 that you know, he's going to be able to have enough for everyone to make sure that he can do and go again after that and retest everything. You know, I probably gave him a million or something like that.
[00:12:24] Jordan Harbinger: That's so funny. You're like giving, "Hey, have a crazy night on the town and this should work."
[00:12:30]Frank Bourassa: No. It's not what they were doing.
[00:12:31] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:12:31] Frank Bourassa: No, it's not what they're doing. No, no, no, no. It's business to me, it was business.
[00:12:36] Jordan Harbinger: Sure, yeah.
[00:12:36] Frank Bourassa: Nothing was just fun. And to them, it's the same thing because the risk is high, they're dealing coke too. So they were selling it to some trusted people. They don't say, "This is the product. I know where we can get." Just, "Look into it. I got some samples for you. And so some of it ended up somehow into US, and this is the stuff that they talked about. But what I did, this was a lot more work for me. We're neighbors, right? Canada and US, we're neighbors.
[00:13:03] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:13:03] Frank Bourassa: So I've been to the US a ton of time. And I've dealt with people in the US for everything, the legit reason. I know like your authorities, I'll be honest. Not because they were chasing me. I get that. I'm fine with that. This is the game, but I'm not too fond of your government or not that ours is perfect either, but the people in the US are really like, I've been dealing with very nice people out there. A bunch of times where I dialed in, you know, during the years, I ended up at the wrong place while the people who picked up the phone will actually try to figure out where it is that you're trying to call. And that, it's a f*cking wrong number. What is it to you? I'm just bugging you. No, they're going to try it. It happens regularly. They're really, really nice people really are.
[00:13:46] Jordan Harbinger: So you're saying when you called the United States and you get a wrong number that people try and help you find the right number.
[00:13:51] Frank Bourassa: Oh, yeah.
[00:13:51] Jordan Harbinger: That's really funny. I feel like I've done that before, but you know, what's funny is friendliness is typically associated with Canada, but I'm from Michigan where we're next to Canada. So a lot of people think like, "Oh, Michigan and Canada are very similar." We're kind of like Canadians with terrible healthcare. So I'm used to like trying to help someone find a wrong number and go, "Oh, wait, what'd you say your name was? Oh, hold on. Let me see if they're in my phone book." And I'm like, what am I doing now? Obviously, he misdialed by a digit. It's funny that you think that about the United states.
[00:14:19] Frank Bourassa: It's totally the way you are. That's really the way you are. And if you call it business for equipment, they never bitch about their competitors. You don't, you just don't.
[00:14:29] Jordan Harbinger: No, no. That's like super tacky to do that.
[00:14:32] Frank Bourassa: Here, it's a hundred percent they're going to do that.
[00:14:35] Jordan Harbinger: Really?
[00:14:36] Frank Bourassa: Yeah for sure. They're going to try to sync whoever, you know, and we're good. We're much better for this and that. They have this happening. No exactly — you don't do that and it is f*cking phenomenal to see that.
[00:14:49] Jordan Harbinger: That's funny you should say that. It is true. I would never say, "Don't buy for someone else." I would say, "Buy from me because this, that, and the other thing, but I never say, "Oh, that guy, you know, he's a cheater. I would never do that." And I think a lot of Americans are like that.
[00:15:02] Frank Bourassa: No.
[00:15:02] Jordan Harbinger: It's really bad for him to sh*t talk somebody. Yeah. That's funny.
[00:15:06] Frank Bourassa: Exactly. Exactly. You're just great people.
[00:15:10] Jordan Harbinger: That's funny to hear that. You don't hear that a lot. I appreciate that. I'm going to leave that in because I think people need to hear that, especially nowadays.
[00:15:17] How do you make these deals? Obviously on TV, we see guys in a parking lot. They're standing next to their cars, right? It's dimly lit. Someone like throws a briefcase over and then the other guy throws his briefcase over whatever it is. In your case here, you're handing over hundreds and hundreds of pounds of paper at any given time. They're paying you back extensively in cash, hundreds and hundreds of pounds of legitimate paper. So it's not a briefcase, right? These are truckloads. I assume you're not selling these directly, but what does the transaction look like? Like how do you make the exchange?
[00:15:49] Frank Bourassa: You need to follow certain rules for that. It can be a different one for different people, but for me, any transaction where you stack up large amounts of money at one spot, one time. The higher the amount, the higher the risk is. Sure, the people you know, but the people you know are going to send decent runners. The runners they trust. If it's not a runner to go pick up something was $500. Well, he's going to come back. If you send him to a pick up somewhere where there's five million, well in his head, sure, he goes, you know what if instead, what if I f*ck the guy, and I don't come back and I moved to Mexico. It becomes a thought to entertain the higher you go.
[00:16:37] You don't want to do that. I don't want to do that for sure. So I didn't deal a large amount. The highest I went was one million. That was my thing. So I went to one million or just 300,000 at one time at one place. You minimize the risks if you keep it small, but there's tomorrow. "We can do that this afternoon. Again, you want some more, let's do that this afternoon. Let's do another run tonight. Let's do tomorrow. I can do that all day. That I'm fine with." But you know, I'm not going to have more than 300K in one spot because I don't want to get the gears spending too much.
[00:17:14] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:17:14] Frank Bourassa: I feel it keeps my people safe. It prevents everything from veering off course. That's how I see it. It's how I did it for that reason.
[00:17:24] Jordan Harbinger: Were you ever worried about other criminals coming after you and your family? Because you're literally printing money at this time, right? It seems like a pretty dangerous gig because it's so lucrative that — I mean, someone could just come in and say, "Hey, look, you keep printing and I won't kill you if you give me 20 percent." Did you think about that at all?
[00:17:44] Frank Bourassa: No, no, no, no. I set up everything the way that I want it to be for specific reasons. And I chose my people for specific reasons and I knew it led to — all people involved, like I said, the whole networks become, it's all referenced of people you'd know and trust, of people you know and trust. So the more you stick to that, the less chances of that type of scenario that you described is happening. So this dude that is going to be buying down the road, well, he knows those 20 people who know those over 100. If he does something like that, well, everybody's going to know about it, the legit, proper criminal, same in this world as a legit world, they're not going to f*ck you over. They're not going to do that and they are known for not being like that. If I don't see that, I'm not interested in you in any line. Legit or not, I'm not, I don't f*ck people over. I'll make sure that doesn't happen and I'm not going to let it happen to me either, for sure.
[00:18:51] This is not a concern. And on top of it, I must set up everything to minimize that happening. And like I said, you know, I kept smaller numbers. And so no. He can repeat it. He's making money, every transaction we made. He can try to squeeze me out of it, but his people and if not him directly, his people, his people down the line, it comes to me. And before it hits me, it's going to be a ton of people who know about me. And it was like, "Well, he's not going to give it to him. It's not going to happen. He's not going to let that happen." No, f*ck you. It wasn't a concern because it wasn't the type of people. It was the opposite. I help people.
[00:19:25] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:19:25] Frank Bourassa: People lost something that they called me to say, "Hey, there was too much in there." It was that type of people.
[00:19:31] Jordan Harbinger: They're saying, " Hey, I bought a million. You gave me a million and $1,100. I left your $1,100 at the supermarket."
[00:19:39] Frank Bourassa: Yeah, sure.
[00:19:39] Jordan Harbinger: That's crazy. That's somehow very Canadian of criminal. Like you say, Americans are nice, but meanwhile, the Canadians are like, "Hey, you gave me too much counterfeit currency there."
[00:19:48] Frank Bourassa: Well, we have a fair share of assh*les. We sure do. But good guys are good guys and bad guys are bad guys.
[00:19:55] Jordan Harbinger: That's true.
[00:19:56] Frank Bourassa: They want to protect their business. They're there to make money. They want to make money with you. They don't want to make money off you.
[00:20:02] Jordan Harbinger: It's so funny.
[00:20:02] Frank Bourassa: There's always some like that.
[00:20:06] Jordan Harbinger: You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Frank Bourassa. We'll be right back.
[00:20:11] This episode is sponsored in part by Public Rec. It's been a year since I started living in sweatpants, since many of us in fact probably started living in sweatpants. I would say I'm now kind of a sweat pant connoisseur. Sweat pants and lounge wear in general, they're not all made equal. With everything I own, I always find myself digging through my pile of laundry to hunt down my favorite pants. And I always reach for my Public Recs all day, every day pants. It's what I wear literally all day, every day. And these pants are amazing. Not just because they don't look like typical raggedy, sweat pants. They actually make me look sharp. They're breathable. My butt can breathe. They're so comfortable. They're stretchy enough. I could do squats in them without fear of my butt just ripping open. The pockets are zippered so you can keep your precious cargo secure. And even once we transitioned back into the real world, I may never go back to regular pants again. Now that I've got these Public Recs. So get your whole wardrobe from Public Rec. They've got incredibly comfortable shorts, t-shirts, Henley's, polos, hoodies, jackets, even golf gear.
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[00:21:18] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Better Help online counseling. I know what you're thinking. "I don't have time to see a therapist." Come on. It's 2021. If you've been avoiding therapy, because you keep making excuses that quite frankly, fall flat, consider this assigned to make an appointment with Better Help online counseling. Better Help offers online licensed professional therapists who are trained to listen and help. They can help you with your anxiety, your relationship stuff, trauma, grief, depression, difficulty sleeping, all of the above. Finding a therapist can be intimidating, time-consuming. With Better Help, you fill out a questionnaire. They hook you up in a couple of days. Everything's confidential. You can do the video thing. Or if you're like me, you can do the phone thing. You can chat and text your therapist if you need a quick check-in. And if you don't like your counselor and it happens, you can request a new one at any time. No additional charge.
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[00:22:19] Jordan Harbinger: Now back to Frank Bourassa on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:22:24] I'm just imagining some Canadian gangster calling me and saying, "Hey, you left me a couple of thousand extra dollars. Come meet me at Tim Horton's and I'll have it in a briefcase under the table." It's somehow so Canadian that they would be like, "Hey, you paid me too much." So who is after you at this point, right? It's not the criminals, it's the Canadian Mounted Police, which is like your FBI, I assume.
[00:22:47] Frank Bourassa: Yeah.
[00:22:47] Jordan Harbinger: The US Secret Service, of course, is all over this because they are — the whole protecting our president thing came out afterwards.
[00:22:53] Frank Bourassa: Yes.
[00:22:54] Jordan Harbinger: Before that they were invented for counterfeiting.
[00:22:57] Frank Bourassa: Not a lot of people know that, actually.
[00:22:59] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know I looked this up because I was like, "Oh, secret service—"
[00:23:02] Frank Bourassa: Yeah.
[00:23:02] Jordan Harbinger: "—treasury." They just kind of got stuck with the whole, "Hey, we should probably have somebody protecting the president before that their whole job, their whole job was basically to find people like you who are printing up money because the counterfeiting is one of the oldest tricks in the book in terms of making money off of the United States or any government for that matter. I mean, I'm sure the Romans probably had counterfeiting. So who else is after? You said Interpol. How did the authorities start to catch on to what you were doing? Like you didn't get caught who got caught? Who was getting caught?
[00:23:35] Frank Bourassa: Well, for me, like I said at the beginning, you know, there's a higher probability, if not to say a high probability period, that some things are going to go wrong at some point. It's not a grocery store, right? So whatever the reason is going to be, well, there's going to be one, where the sh*t hits the fan. Well, there'd be a reason for it, obviously. And for me, I decided to add another client because one of the clients that we were supposed to have, it ended up not working because he got shot for something totally unrelated before we could even start. So I ended up, I was left with a client, a short, so it wasn't good. You want to get rid of it as shortly as possible because when you run out of it, then you're not risking anything anymore. So I'll say, "Well, I need to find somebody else." I had two guys working for me and they had the connection. This is what they do. They know people. And so I say, "We're going to need to find it, so you look into that." So they did, and then they found another client. So they told me the conversation, who he was. "He's good, you solve it."
[00:24:48] So, you know, I looked him up and then I vetted them and they were fine. I said, "Then, okay, all right, we're, we'll give that a try." And so this new client, he contacted my guy? And he said, "We want a hundred thousand to first order." I say, "Yeah, sure. So we sent him a hundred thousand and then they did that. And then they call the next day for another a hundred thousand. And then the third day and the fourth day maybe or something like that. What didn't know those people they had — I didn't know them personally, I still don't, but they were involved in stolen construction equipment, like loaders and excavators and stuff.
[00:25:27] Jordan Harbinger: Like heavy equipment.
[00:25:28] Frank Bourassa: Yeah, heavy equipment and stuff like that. And I didn't know at the time. I learned that because of the investigation after the court thing, and I didn't know, and they didn't know they were being infiltrated by someone from the RCMP for the past, a long time.
[00:25:46] Jordan Harbinger: So the Mounted Police that your Canadian FBI essentially was—
[00:25:50] Frank Bourassa: Yeah.
[00:25:50] Jordan Harbinger: They had undercover officers inside this organization.
[00:25:54] Frank Bourassa: Yes. Yes. RCMP is the equivalent of your — well, I guess they play here at the FBI too, but there was the equivalent of a secret service.
[00:26:02] Jordan Harbinger: Actually. I think they're like secret service, FBI, and sort of state police at the same time.
[00:26:08] Frank Bourassa: Yeah, yeah, exactly. But the only one currency counterfeiting, but they were infiltrating them. So, the main guy of this operation. The real criminal while he turned to the undercover, he said, "Hey, I could have counterfeits, would you be interested?"
[00:26:26] Jordan Harbinger: Sure, am.
[00:26:28] Frank Bourassa: Sure, am. I'm in, I'm in.
[00:26:30] Jordan Harbinger: Definitely.
[00:26:30] Frank Bourassa: Definitely, yeah. And he didn't know. And I know he didn't know because all the tapes, the video — I don't know how in the US how it is, but here—
[00:26:38] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, they have to show you the evidence.
[00:26:40] Frank Bourassa: So I've seen all the interrogation, all the paperwork to him. He didn't know, he didn't say things solid. He really is. He just didn't know. He got caught, but he ended up selling to an undercover RCMP officer directly. There was no way to know.
[00:26:55] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:26:55] Frank Bourassa: The reason why it crashed, for me, was that very reasonable specifically. This is when it changed where they got lead on to my operation. This is where it stemmed from for me. Yeah.
[00:27:08] Jordan Harbinger: So how did they eventually grab you? Right? Because did they just follow you home one day? Or like, how did they know where you were?
[00:27:14] Frank Bourassa: Well, eyes on runners to meet someone, somewhere. And the clients, they send runners too. So runners meet. This is how you solve basically anything. So they call for first order and then they meet somewhere. But when you did that, they'd send a helicopter and they follow their runners because they are going to go somewhere, somehow. He is going to be someone. So they're going to go see who that someone is. And so they get to my runner and then they follow that runner. My runner so they know who this dude is. So next time, well, they start with the top of my runners with the helicopter when they call the second order. And then, so they start the surveillance from there. And then they see, they examine where he goes, who he talks to. And then whoever he gets in contact with, they add to the list. He met this dude and then they add surveillance on another dude, and then they go back to — so this is why they get eventually to where you started from.
[00:28:13] This is how it happened to me because since it was a new client — for every client, I had a stash, separate stash, separate runner. The runners didn't know about the other runners, about the other clients, the stashes or any of that. So before you add yet another runner, another route for another client, you need to let them know about the container, where it is, and this and that. So I want to make sure that it's solid. That it's a viable plan before I do that. So my main guy would feed the runner and he would take the place of the runner for the first run, just to see if it panned out. And then I fed the money directly to my guy. And so they caught us meeting. And this is how they led back to me. The reason, the very reason why I'm still here today—
[00:29:06] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I was going to ask, how are you not in prison right now? $250 million.
[00:29:09] Frank Bourassa: Sure. I had planned for my escape route. The first thing I planned for was that specifically. So you knew ahead of time, they're going to want the money. They're going to want to find a print shop. So this, I need to protect. So I went into printing and I didn't sell anything. And then I left from there. I never went back and never did went back. Not even once, because then you don't know if they got surveillance on you. If you go there, then that's it. You're screwed. So I set it up that way. And then a way to get that money, should I need to get through it? Because if it comes to that, then you're either locked up or you're outside and you got surveillance on you at the time. So I set up a way to get access to that money, whatever way I would need it, if it ever came to that.
[00:29:51] So I planned for that ahead of the time. But on the second or third order they gave, I went with the money where the meetup place was, and I need to give it to my guy. And then he would leave, then he would wait for the client's runner to come. And they had followed me from home where I left, because it was just a smaller, a hundred thousand. So they followed me from home. So they'd seen the boxes and all that. Then they kept on me all the way over there. And when I got there, then my guy said, "All right, just give me the boxes." And I said, "No, I'm going to back up." And there was a tarp garage in the back where the place were selected to meet. I said, "No, I'm going to back up in there's." "Why won't you just give them to me." No because I don't, cause you're not supposed to. Because you don't do sh*t out of you open. You're supposed to hide. This is what you're supposed to do. So, you're just out of sticking to what you're supposed to do, the rules. You need to do that because you never know.
[00:30:47] So he said, "All right," so I ended up backing in the tarp garage, but the chopper, they lost visual on me. And the way warrant work, they need to know a hundred percent of the time that what they're stating is can actually be a fact when it was visual or you, well, the boxes that came out had money in it, but the boxes that I brought in from there to the tarp garage, well, they could have been Kool-Aid for all you know, it have been anything. So this little thing where the loss of visual on me, this is what changed everything. If it hadn't been for that, I wouldn't be here. I'd be next to El Chapo right now.
[00:31:23] Jordan Harbinger: That's crazy. I know that you used the missing $200 million as a bargaining chip when they did catch you. It was, "All right, we're going to throw the bucket and we're going to do this and we're going to do this." And then you came up and said to your lawyer, "Hey look, rather than going away, I can give them the missing $200 million." And I thought this is interesting because you know, use the missing 200 million — I guess you'd already sold 50 million. And we'll touch on that in a second — but you said if you printed the less counterfeit money, you wouldn't have had the $200 million bargaining chip with the prosecutor. And I'm wondering if you ever thought about that, right? Because you went so big that you got caught, but also if you hadn't gotten that big and you only had like $2 million, they might have been like, "Yeah, we don't care about that. We're throwing you in jail forever." But since you had so much, they were like, "We kind of want to get that off the street. And so we're going to give you a plea bargain."
[00:32:15] Frank Bourassa: Yeah. That's exactly how I found out. Now, going in, I didn't say, well, I'm going to start this operation. I'm going to get this amount of money. No. I know it was quite a bit, but what's quite a bit, if you get caught, is it going to be enough? Is it going to be — you're not sure. Like I say, there's no chart. You say, "Well, if I do this, I'm good." You don't. Basically, all you have to go, it's just your gut. I'm going to do a ton as much as I can. And then I'm either going to have a ton of, a lot of legit money as a tool or whatever, you know, if it ever comes to that or I'm going to have a lot of counterfeit, but if it's going to be enough or not, you'll know at the end if it was. But yeah, if it hadn't been for that, if I'd done, like, you know, anything just 10 million, maybe they'll say, "Well, we don't give a sh*t. Keep it. You're still coming in with us." It would have been the case, yes, so I ended up working because of that, because I went big, it worked.
[00:33:09] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:33:09] Frank Bourassa: It's strange.
[00:33:10] Jordan Harbinger: You're lucky with that. I think, tell me what your sentence and your fine was because this is like kind of bonkers, right? Most people — you know, when I heard this, I was like, "Wait a second. He made $250 million. And he got how much time in jail? How much money do they have to pay? Tell me what you got. Tell me what you did well.
[00:33:29] Frank Bourassa: Well, I didn't have a whole lot because my bargaining was, "If I give you this. You remove everything." Because they had seized everything, they seized houses and the cars. They seized everything. So you get everything back and you remove those charges, which they didn't have any choice, really, because their guidelines are guidelines, but there's kind of a chart when sentencing. You cannot get caught like 200 million and get three months in jail. They can't do that. So if you charge you for counterfeiting with this much, you need to get either, you know, between this and this, then they have leeway to—
[00:34:02] Jordan Harbinger: Right, sentencing guidelines.
[00:34:04] Frank Bourassa: So if you want to go below that, well, you need to remove that anyway — which was my request, you're going to need to remove that. Otherwise, you're not having it. So they ended up removing it altogether, so I didn't have any—
[00:34:15] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, I see.
[00:34:16] Frank Bourassa: —so this got thrown out.
[00:34:17] Jordan Harbinger: So if they charge you with counterfeiting, the minimum is say like, I don't know, 10 years or five years or whatever.
[00:34:23] Frank Bourassa: Yeah, exactly.
[00:34:25] Jordan Harbinger: So your lawyer negotiated for them to throw out the counterfeiting charge entirely.
[00:34:29] Frank Bourassa: Entirely, yes.
[00:34:31] Jordan Harbinger: So you got charged with what, like drug possession or something like that, or possession of stolen goods or something weird like that?
[00:34:37] Frank Bourassa: Yeah, they seized the car and to check the car and, I don't know, they found, you know, nitty bitty bits of stuff lying around that I didn't have any clue was there. A pill or something, I don't know, I don't even know what those are. So they charged me with three or four stuff that they said they found whatever. So it ended up being $1,500 Canadian. So it's like, you know, $1,100 to $1,200 US.
[00:35:00] Jordan Harbinger: And how much time in jail?
[00:35:01] Frank Bourassa: I did six weeks from the time it took for my lawyer to get bail for me. So I did six weeks,
[00:35:08] Jordan Harbinger: Six weeks in jail, $1,300 or whatever it is in the United States fine—
[00:35:13] Frank Bourassa: Yeah.
[00:35:14] Jordan Harbinger: —for counterfeiting $250 million and giving back, let's say 200 million of those dollars. Where is the rest of the money? Where's the missing 50 million, right? Was it all sold overseas? Was it destroyed? Is it still out there? Where's the money, Frank?
[00:35:31] Frank Bourassa: There is always a big question, right? Where is it? Where is it? Well, I don't have a map with a big X on it. I'm not going to hand it out to anyone, unfortunately. I know it'd be nice if you'd like to have that, probably. I get that, but no, no. It's somewhere, right? Something happened to it, but—
[00:35:48] Jordan Harbinger: That's certain. It is definitely somewhere. Yeah. It's got to be somewhere.
[00:35:51] Frank Bourassa: Yeah, yeah, it's going to be somewhere exactly. You know what the craziest thing about it all is, well, to me, this is going to blow your mind. It still does mine. When I have to give them the money, so I have the money and the things set up where they got the money out of it. They drove into the truck, which was, you know, prearranged in a parking lot at a hotel. And it sat there. It was hidden right next to the main boulevard. It has been sitting there for a month and a half, two months. And this is where it was in plain sight. When we got to it, when I have to give them the money—
[00:36:23] Jordan Harbinger: This is the $200 million that you'd said, "Hey, by the way, I still got 200 million dollars."
[00:36:27] Frank Bourassa: Yeah. So there was a drop date. So we were in the court. The time I got stopped and the time we discussed the 200 million, there was like a year and a half or something. And then just one day came and I said, "All right, did you say you got the money? This is the day." I said, "Yeah," so we went through the truck and then when we got there, well, there was this whole thing. There was a canine unit. There was a bomb squad and all that. Then I said, "Jesus, f*ck."
[00:36:47] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:36:47] Frank Bourassa: I hadn't thought about it because this is not what I do. It is not who I am.
[00:36:50] Jordan Harbinger: They thought there was a bomb in your truck with the money, or there was no money.
[00:36:54] Frank Bourassa: They didn't think there was. They weren't sure there wasn't because I said there wasn't and it's just not who I am, but you know, they have to follow protocols because what if there is, right?
[00:37:05] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:37:05] Frank Bourassa: They got sniffer dogs and this, and then the bomb squad came in, and then he said, "Would you mind opening up the door, the rear panel door?" I said, "Yeah, sure." "Would you mind opening the driver door? Would you mind starting the truck?" "Yeah, sure." So I started the truck. Then they started talking amongst themselves and then I was, you know, a little bit away and was just waiting. And then, they came to me and he said, "Listen, you don't have to say yes to this as this is not of the deal. But, you know, I'm just asking." So I said, "Nah, forget the deal. What do you want? Tell me what it is. You know we said we do this today." He said, "Well, you know, there could be some scenarios somewhere where we could drive at whatever speed or whatever time after. We started driving and it could explode on the highway or something."
[00:37:46] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:37:47] Frank Bourassa: "Would you be willing to drive the truck to the RCMP headquarters?"
[00:37:52] Jordan Harbinger: So they didn't want to drive the truck?
[00:37:53] Frank Bourassa: No, they didn't.
[00:37:54] Jordan Harbinger: When they seized the truck, they wanted you to drive the truck because they thought maybe it's going to blow up.
[00:37:58] Frank Bourassa: Maybe, yeah, maybe. I'm processing it just like you are right now. I said—
[00:38:03] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:38:03] Frank Bourassa: Okay. Okay. So packed car, police choppers, and all that,. So I got into the truck, it was 200 million plus press. They wanted the press too, I knew it because they kept bugging me from the beginning to that. There was a small press that they put in there and I was driving a f*cking truck. I was alone. There were black Suburbans, exactly like in the movies, three in front, three in the back. Every row was blocked by tons of cars, choppers and all that. I was driving my $200 million alone in the truck packed with police all around and above me. Every one in which perfectly knew what was inside the truck. And somehow it was perfectly fine. That's a f*cked up world. I mean, think about it, in what reality can this — I mean, come on. Even to me, this is really weird.
[00:38:52] Jordan Harbinger: I'm so surprised that they didn't just check the truck right then and there, but I guess they were worried. I mean, you know, it seems even more unsafe that you are going to drive this to RCMP headquarters if they think there's a bomb in it in the first place. It's almost like they just didn't think it through.
[00:39:05] Frank Bourassa: I mean, what could the check really? What would they need to look for? I mean, could something be installed behind the dashboard?
[00:39:11] Jordan Harbinger: Sure, yeah.
[00:39:11] Frank Bourassa: I don't know. How are you going to be sure you're sitting inside where you're working, you know, it's a salary for you. You were cops. You're going to want to sit there? I don't.
[00:39:20] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, maybe not.
[00:39:22] Frank Bourassa: And I got that and I was very respectful. So both ways, there were a lot of respect. It was nice situation that that happened. And because of that, they asked me and I said, "Yeah, sure. If it's going to help, you know, things I'm going to do." But I was driving, it's a little bit of time and it's like 20 minutes or something, so I'm driving, I kept thinking to myself, this is weird. F*ck. This is weird even for me.
[00:39:47] Jordan Harbinger: This is The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Frank Bourassa. We'll be right back.
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[00:44:11] Now for the conclusion of our episode with Frank Bourassa.
[00:44:15] Like to this day, there's got to be like you going like, "Wait. So you think there's a bomb in here. You want me to drive the truck?" And I assume, you know, you're driving the truck, you'd like you said, you're getting a police escort to the police station with helicopters and everything because they don't want you to blow up the car. And then there's a bunch of other people around you.
[00:44:34] Frank Bourassa: Whatever, right? They got to account for every possible scenario, I guess.
[00:44:38] Jordan Harbinger: So you're just driving and you're like, "There's $200 million in the back—"
[00:44:42] Frank Bourassa: Yeah.
[00:44:42] Jordan Harbinger: "—and I'm just going to drop this off at the police station and then walk home and go have a coffee with my girlfriend."
[00:44:49] Frank Bourassa: This is a hell of a f*cking ride to have by yourself, inside your own head, while you're driving there alone, driving slow. It's like, "Jesus, f*ck. In what reality can this happen, really?"
[00:45:02] Jordan Harbinger: No kidding. What do you think they do with the money? They just burn it.
[00:45:04] Frank Bourassa: Yeah, they burned it. They do. That's all the do. Everything they see, they burn.
[00:45:08] Jordan Harbinger: They seized 900 some thousand dollars. You gave them $200 million, but you printed 250. So there's $49 million. And those are just on assorted strip club floors across the globe at this point.
[00:45:21] Frank Bourassa: Something like that.
[00:45:22] Jordan Harbinger: Or something like that. Have you tried counterfeiting other currencies? Maybe you shouldn't answer that, but I guess the question really is, is the United States currency easier or harder to counterfeit than other bills? Because I know — when I go to Europe, the bills are different sizes and they're in different colors and everything. Ours sh*t is just green. It's all one size, right? It looks easier. But what do I know? I'm not a counterfeiter.
[00:45:45] Frank Bourassa: It looks simple, but it's easy and it's complicated at the same time. It's more complicated than easy, but if you can do stuff like that and then whatever you can do. A guy can juggle 15 balls, well, juggling 15 balls is the thing he does. So is it difficult? Is it more difficult? I don't know. I guess, it's difficult, but somebody can do it. While you're doing this or this other one, it's kind of the same thing. This is not what makes it different. It's that the US is the victim of its own, of how big you guys are.
[00:46:19] So it doesn't make any sense to make any other currency. We're not out for a vendetta on your government or anything, it's not that. US money is just accepted everywhere. So you should do New Zealand money. I mean, try to spend that in Sweden. people are going to say, "What the f*ck?"
[00:46:37] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:46:37] Frank Bourassa: It's more complicated. So you're making it harder for anyone involved trying to sell. US, you can go anywhere on a whole planet. Everyone will take it. Anyone will. So this is why it's selected.
[00:46:49] Jordan Harbinger: That makes sense. When I was an exchange student overseas, I was in Germany in the '90s. This is before the Euro actually. So now, they use Euros over there in an ads, but I would look at ads and I'm in the former East Germany, right? It's like 1998. I look at an ad and there's a lottery ad or something like that. And this person's looking up and all of this money is wind down and it's US dollars. This is at a bus stop in Germany, in the '90s, they're using United States dollars in the ad and it's on TV, US dollars are falling. It's like if you had to make a cartoon character money, it's always the US dollar.
[00:47:25] Frank Bourassa: That's true.
[00:47:25] Jordan Harbinger: Now, they use Euros because it's European wide. And it's more of a thing, but they didn't use Deutsche Marks back then. I mean, they used it for currency, but in the advertisements on television, nothing, they always use US dollars. So the fact that they were doing that is sort of mirrors your point here, which is if you want to get rid of money, if I got a flat tire and I'm in France and I only have 500 US dollars, and I say, "Can you fix this?" You go, "Yeah."
[00:47:50] Frank Bourassa: You're good to good.
[00:47:51] Jordan Harbinger: Sure enough. But if I bust out 500 US dollars in Chinese Renminbi, you're going to go, "What the f*ck am I going to do with this?"
[00:47:58] Frank Bourassa: Yeah.
[00:47:58] Jordan Harbinger: Go to the bank and change it.
[00:48:00] Frank Bourassa: Yeah. Even in the US anyone comes even, you know, Sweden money or Denmark or, I don't know, anywhere, Poland, whatever, you're not going to take it. Even Euros, you go to Walmart. They're not going to take Euros. I mean, it's like China main f*cking currency still. They're going to take it. It just makes it more complicated. But somehow you guys, you have such a big impact on everything. You go with US money, any f*cking where, they will take it right there in the store anywhere. Everyone really does.
[00:48:29] Jordan Harbinger: That's right.
[00:48:30] Frank Bourassa: It makes no sense if you want to go. Your client can sell it anywhere. It's open for them. You're making it easier for them. This is the only reason because you're a victim of your own success, I guess.
[00:48:40] Jordan Harbinger: Victim of our own success, yeah. I mean, we are the reserve currency, right? The reserve currency internationally. And I actually got a counterfeit $5 bill once, which is a stupid thing to counterfeit theoretically, but I got it in a small village on the border of Vietnam and, I think, Cambodia or something like that, and this girl came up and she goes, "Do you want to change money? You need money, local money." And I was like, "Sure." So I gave her like 20 bucks and she, whatever it was, and she gave me $15 and she gave me a $5 bill back and it was way too dark and way too thin. And I thought I got a counterfeit $5 bill. I still have it because I kept it because I went, "Wow, counterfeit money." And then I thought, "Who the hell counterfeits a $5 bill?" And then I realized if you are in rural Vietnam or Cambodia, you don't counterfeit a hundred-dollar bill. Where are you going to change that?
[00:49:24] Frank Bourassa: Exactly.
[00:49:24] Jordan Harbinger: You could add up all your neighbors and they don't have a hundred US dollars, but you have, you might have five. So it just made perfect sense. I'm curious though as a master counterfeiter, right? or former, what are some of the security features that were hardest to crack on the US dollar? What was like the thing where you just went, "Man, how am I going to get through this?"
[00:49:44] Frank Bourassa: It will bundle up a bunch of them, but it definitely is the paper. I mean, the paper implies so much stuff. Like I said, if you want to do it right, and you got the thicknesses, it doesn't exist. So you have to have it made. And the difference between being able to have it ready made somewhere, even blank paper, instead of having to have it custom made, it's a whole new deal. Just that by itself, forget all the rest. Just that it's super complicated. And then you need to have the recipe. So you have to find the ingredients, which is not that hard, but the recipe, the chemical properties, and this is hard to find you out to dig sh*tload to find that. And then we'll go into machines. What do you need to put? Why not? And then you've got other stuff. You've got security fibers. So you have to find somewhere and you're going to be down the line going to have to be — can you make it know with this percent of this, X percent of this? Make sure there's no this, make sure, and then this type of chemical, this chemical, this number, security fiber with a ratio of this to this color, right? You want to have the right stuff.
[00:50:53] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:50:53] Frank Bourassa: So every layer of this. It makes it more obvious. It makes it riskier and riskier. And then the watermark is also part of the paper. So sure you're going to outsource, you know, far from here and you say, "Well, you're not going to know who he is." That's fine. Just that by itself, it's got to save. If you add that, plus the size, plus the thickness, plus the UV fibers, the security strip, where he needs to say USA 20, USA, it kind of gives everything, right? So you got to find a way to. Overcome that cause it needs to be in there. This is put when the papers are in the pulp state. So they need to put that in. So you need to find something — it is tough. And if they get suspicious of you, they're not going to tell you. They're going to hang up and then they're going to call the authorities. And then the authorities are going to tell them, "No, no, no. Don't change anything. Keep talking to them." You know, they're going to bug you and then they're going to start the investigation, but you're the last one who's going to know.
[00:51:50] Jordan Harbinger: Right. You find out when you're in front of the judge, yeah, exactly.
[00:51:53] Frank Bourassa: Yeah. The more you add when, what you know is when they come at 5 a.m. This is when you say, "Oh f*ck, this is today. Damn."
[00:52:00] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. The cops, they came in, what? They came to your house or your girlfriend's house at five o'clock in the morning with like choppers and SUVs and SWAT teams, right? To come and get you.
[00:52:09] Frank Bourassa: Yeah, the whole thing. They blocked the whole neighborhood. That was a huge something. And then they knocked all the windows all around to have the same time. Tak-tak-tak. You just know like, you say, "F*ck, this is today. Damn."
[00:52:23] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:52:24] Frank Bourassa: It sucks — that's it. That's the end.
[00:52:27] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it's unbelievable. I know we talked about this a little bit earlier, but just for the listener. So you get arrested and then you're going, you're dealing with negotiating and everything and they think they're going to throw the book at you. And that's when they find out that — because they seized about just under a million dollars in counterfeit currency, a couple of little bits of cannabis or whatever, and they think, "All right, we got this guy." And that's when you tell them through your lawyer, of course, that you have 200 million more dollars in counterfeit money and that's when they go, "All right, now we have to deal with this guy." That's what we were talking about earlier. Like now they have to come to the table. I'm wondering with these counterfeit bills that you had, you know, those markers that stores use when they're looking at your money or banks or whatever your counterfeits, could they defeat that or is that sort of like, an easy way out for most counterfeits.
[00:53:18] Frank Bourassa: No, no, no, no. Well, yeah, this is like entry level thing that you need to overcome. You're not going to sell one, unless you go to titty bars,
[00:53:27] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:53:27] Frank Bourassa: If you don't pass that little thing, it's like the entry thing — no, no, no.
[00:53:32] Jordan Harbinger: I figured.
[00:53:32] Frank Bourassa: You have to go to machines into ATMs and stuff. It have to work.
[00:53:36] Jordan Harbinger: That makes sense. Right. So it has to be like complex analysis in order to find it. So look, man, now you're sort of like Frank Abagnale in the way that you are, which, you know, it's interesting that you both have the same first name, but you're busting forgeries now. So what is it that you do specifically? I know you're trying to make documents and bills and things like that harder to forge. That's super freaking interesting. Is there something that you're inventing? Like, do they give you their document? And they're like, "Okay how would you forge this?" Then you basically show them. And then you, you give them suggestions. How does it work to consult on forgery?
[00:54:09] Frank Bourassa: I do a lot of brands for pharmaceuticals, products and pharmaceuticals and like fashion brands and stuff like that. So you want to counterfeit and fashion coats or shirts or whatever. They say, "Well, you know, we have those kind of those Canada Goose coats—" They're one of my clients, but just to give an example.
[00:54:28] Jordan Harbinger: Canadian Goose or whatever, it's called.
[00:54:30] Frank Bourassa: Yeah, Canada Goose. Yeah. It's been bought by the US a couple of years back. They're now one of my clients, but it's a good example. So they'd call and say, "You know, our coats are being counterfeited. So what can we do to stop that?" And I'll look at it from my perspective as how would I go about counterfeiting this is. I say "Yeah, sure. I can." And what we need to put in there that I couldn't, and this is where I put — if I tackle something now I know what's impossible to do. And I will double up and triple up on it where it would cost. Just to try to begin doing that, you either have to buy all the equipment, do that, where it costs you like six million to right up to bat, or you need to deal with so many different companies who each have millions of dollar equipment. Who would want to deal with you for a bunch of coats? What's the order going to be? 40,000, 50,000, I got millions in equipment, I got reputation. They got the client. They're going to risk that. And then I stack many of them and tell them where they need to go from one to the other, because they're separate, different types of security features that can be added.
[00:55:38] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Right. So you mix multiple companies with multiple sort of high-end security features where if you were a counterfeiter, you couldn't get all three, four, five, whatever companies to take a medium or small batch of clothing and put each of those features in. So it becomes like — well, it's like a compounding effect that you have with each feature.
[00:55:59] Frank Bourassa: I do everything myself because I know what's — so every feature I designed myself and I will layer that and it's just no way, it's impossible after that.
[00:56:11] Jordan Harbinger: Final question, man. One thing that you and the RCMP Royal Canadian Mounted Police seem to agree on is that there are lots of your fake $20 notes still in circulation, everywhere in the world, especially in the United States, virtually undetectable. If I were to try and look for one of your $20, if I'm looking at a stack of 20s sitting in front of me, and I want to find the counterfeit Frank Bourassa, $20 bill, what am I looking for? Or is it so minute the detail, that it's pointless to even try?
[00:56:42] Frank Bourassa: Yeah with the naked eye. You know, it can be told apart if you go to lab analysis. So you need to go down to chemical, structure of the paper. So the chemical properties, in terms of how will it react to different things around it for, you know, like readers and stuff. This is the same. But if you go down real deep down to the actual composition, you know, I don't know where the tests are. They can make mine apart from the real ones. But outside of that, no, you can't. You just can't. It's the same because you have readers, you follow data. So if it needs to be this color at 1.22, but you make one point, it's the same. It's the same. Papers, the same thing, ingredients the same, the same ratio. It's got the same thing. It's got the same thickness. It's got the same, everything. You follow data, you know, so well, I think it's quite good. No, you don't do that. So everything's the same. That's why it's the same, it's measurable.
[00:57:36] Jordan Harbinger: Do you think you could spot one of your own bills next to or real one or not even?
[00:57:41] Frank Bourassa: I don't know. It's a good question. I'm not sure. I'd say no. I would think not.
[00:57:46] Jordan Harbinger: Wow, that's the true mark right there. If you can't even see it with your own naked eye, knowing exactly how the whole thing is made and what you're looking for, then no one can.
[00:57:55] Frank Bourassa: I couldn't when they were brand spanking new compared to brand new one. So, you know, if it's been spent around and folded in this and now, I mean, it's impossible, even for me, because now it's worn out against worn outs. So brand new, it was identical. So now, it's been tossed around. I'm sure it's impossible even for me.
[00:58:15] Jordan Harbinger: Frank, thank you so much. This has been really, really interesting. I know we went pretty long, but I appreciate it, man. It's so fascinating. Obviously, you're a craftsman and I'm glad you're on the good side these days.
[00:58:27] Frank Bourassa: Yeah, me too. I'm happy to help for whatever, whatever I caused. So I'm happy to do that and help for sure. It was great being here. You're very nice. It was fun doing that.
[00:58:40] Jordan Harbinger: I've got some thoughts on this episode. But before I get into that, Ray Dalio began investing at age 12 and now has over $160 billion under management at his company, Bridgewater Associates, the largest and best performing hedge fund in the world. It's no surprise that he's known as the Steve Jobs of investing. Here's a preview.
[00:58:59] I think now it's very clear that this is an event that has happened before, but not during our lifetime.
[00:59:04] Ray Dalio: Of course, it is. The last one that happened was in 1980. And it happened right at the end of World War I today. How many pandemics, wars, depressions, revolutions, and so on have we been through and they happen over and over again for the same reasons? Three big things that are happening now that haven't happened in our lifetimes before, but happened in the 1930 to 45 period. First, a long-term debt cycle that turns to the point where Central Banks can no longer ease monetary policy. And so we're at the end of a long-term debt cycle in which there has to be a lot of printing of money, much like in March 1933. Two, there are wealth and opportunity gaps and values gaps, which are very large. And those are the sort of things that produce some form of revolutionary changes. Three, there's a rising power that is comparable to the existing world power that is challenging it, the United States now with China. So when we look at the world, we have three big topics that we need to talk about. And they're very big and important to understand the capacity of humans to adapt and change and do things is enormous. But the likelihood of being able to work in an intelligent cooperative way to do the right things would have to be considered a long shot.
[01:00:52] Jordan Harbinger: For more with Ray Dalio, including the predictable cycles that contribute to the rise and fall of great and once great nations on the world stage and where races these cycles heading now and how we should prepare ourselves for the less comfortable cycles we're bound to experience in the future, check out episode 389 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:01:10] Frank Bourassa, what an interesting guy. This has got to be one of the more incredible stories on the show, although it always, it's always such a close contest. We've got some strange ducks here on the show, myself included. Frank's mind is really cut out for this type of detailed work. It's no wonder he was so good at this. This guy is just so interesting.
[01:01:29] Outside of our conversation here on air. I asked him what countries other than the United States are printing a lot of fake USA currency. Now, of course, Frank lives in Canada, but let's not split hairs here. It turns out Syria, Iran, and North Korea are the biggest culprits for counterfeiting. No surprise there, right?
[01:01:45] Frank now helps companies and individuals catch counterfeiters. He helps design counterfeit proof documents. A little bit like Frank Abagnale from episode 1 in his bad guy turned good story. I think it is great that Frank is using his skills for good this time around. It's a easier way to make a living, maybe not quite as profitable, but something tells me maybe he doesn't really need the income. I don't know, just a hunch.
[01:02:07] Links to Frank's stuff will be in the website in the show notes. Please use our website links if you buy any book from any guests. Frank doesn't have a book, not yet. But if you buy a book from any guests, those links on the site do help support the show. Worksheets for this episode are in the show notes. Transcripts in the show notes. And there's a video of this interview going up on our YouTube channel at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram, or just hit me on LinkedIn.
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[01:03:01] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My amazing team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Millie Ocampo, Ian Baird, Josh Ballard, and Gabriel Mizrahi. Remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for the show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting. If you know somebody who's into true crime, counterfeiting, crazy forgeries stories, I don't know Katie and criminals, share this episode with them. Hopefully, you find something great in every episode of this show. So please do share the show with care about. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
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