Swiss man sentenced for paying sex workers with money printed at home

Swiss man sentenced for paying sex workers with money printed at home
Photo: MICHELE LIMINA / AFP
A man in the Swiss canton of Basel City has been sentenced after repeatedly paying for prostitutes with money he printed at home on his inkjet printer.

The man paid for sex on two different occasions in June and October of 2019, paying 2000 euros on the first occasion and 10,000 francs on the second. 

The money however was not real and had been printed by the man on his colour inkjet printer. 

One of the sex workers said she tried to deposit the money into the bank the next day but the ATM wouldn’t accept the cash

After realising that the euro notes “looked strange” she then went to the police. 

“It was dark in the apartment, the curtains were closed. The bills really looked real. Only when they were later not accepted by the machine did I see that it was counterfeit,” the 39-year-old woman told Basel’s criminal court.

On the second occasion, the man alleged that the woman stole CHF10,000 from his home after a sexual encounter, only to later realise the money was not real. 

‘Very badly forged’

Police who searched the man’s home found the self-printed money, saying it was amateurish and “very badly forged”. 

The money had no security features, while some was printed “the wrong way around”. 

The judge agreed, asking the man why he thought he could get away with such an amateurish effort. 

“Why did you originally print these banknotes at all?” asked court president Lucius Hagemann. 

“They look like play money. Every blind person can see that these weren't real banknotes,” he said.

The man’s lawyers argued that the women accepted the money too willingly and that it was obviously forged. 

The 50-year-old man was convicted of fraud, counterfeiting and circulation of counterfeit money. 

He received three-year conditional prison sentence. 


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