Hofmann immediately dropped out of school. He'd just made $20,000 in the '80s off the religious and the gullible, so why not? The world was his oyster. He then became a rare book dealer, which is absolutely hilarious, because this somehow didn't raise ANY red flags. A young college dropout who claims he's suddenly in possession of stacks of historically game-changing shit? Apparently people were pretty cool with believing Hofmann was Utah's Jack Sparrow, just travelling around and tripping over incredibly valuable artifacts that had eluded all of the world's scholars.
Hofmann started pumping out the fakes at an amazing rate. Knowing now that the LDS Church was craving, well, absolutely anything that could help validate its tenets, Hofmann hit them the hardest. But here's where his plan went from normal genius to evil genius. Think about it: What would be more valuable to a church than an authentic document that proves they're right? How about an authentic document that proves their religion is bullshit? It'd be worth a lot to make sure nobody ever saw it.
That's exactly what Hofmann started creating, and selling, to the church, under the guise of having merely found them. These documents probably had titles like Hey This Is Joseph Smith, Let Me Tell Y'all About This Wild Time I Made Up A Religion! and 101 Reasons I Know For A Fact That Mormonism Is Fake, And Other Interesting Things, by the famous author God.
Eventually, Hofmann forged a document that claimed Joseph Smith's son, Joseph Smith III, was his designated successor, instead of the man who actually received that honor, Brigham Young. Upon presenting it to the LDS Church, he was surprised that they didn't meet his asking price. No worries, though -- he just took it to a rival faction. That was the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS), which claimed Smith's descendants were his rightful successors, but lacked any proof. Hofmann played them all perfectly. He went back to "his" church, the OG LDS, and cut a deal for another $20,000 worth of stuff in exchange for the document.
Oh, and as an additional "Screw you," he let the document slip to the press anyway. Now the LDS had to publicly confirm the discovery and admit that their shit status was "Full Of It." He was, for a brief time, both the King of Forgery and the Grand Master of Fucking With People.