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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