They're only fantasies, but Taiwan still confiscates $1 million notes

Officials act after someone attempted to donate a $1 million bill to a foundation
By , Special to Coin World
Published : 05/08/16
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They may look like play money to us, but the 100 $1 million Federal Reserve notes confiscated from a home in Taiwan were taken quite seriously by the island’s Justice Ministry Investigation Bureau. Taiwan’s China Post reported on April 28 that the bureau first learned something was amiss when someone attempted to donate a $1 million bill to a Taiwanese foundation. The foundation deposited the note at a branch of Citibank in Taiwan, after which the note was transferred the bank’s New York City headquarters for authentication.

Investigators went to the suspect’s home in November where they found 100 more notes. The individual, named Hsu, claimed to have lost a fortune in a shoe business on the mainland about 20 years ago. He told investigators that he did not forge the bills but that an official on the mainland gave them to him as “compensation for his loss.” 

The Post says that an American authentication bureau determined that the notes were made using genuine currency paper issued in 1963. Investigators said the denomination was so “monstrously large” that their fraudulence was assumed, but that the work was otherwise quite good. Hsu will be prosecuted for forgery and faces up to seven years in prison.

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