Psst ... You Got Change for a Billion?
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal authorities investigating a man who smuggled money into the country have seized 250 counterfeit bank notes in billion-dollar denominations, they announced Tuesday.
The 250 bogus Federal Reserve notes had 1934 issue dates and were stained to make them look old, but no such currency exists, said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice.
The man has been charged with cash smuggling, but no charges have yet been filed in connection with the counterfeit notes.
Federal authorities warned that the sale or transfer of fake securities has increased in recent years. Scam artists typically sell phony government bank notes at a discounted value or use them as collateral to secure loans or make purchases.
"A billion is a substantial number. We want to ensure that no one was duped or fleeced by the passing of these documents," Kice said.