Paper Money

Customs officials seize fake $1 notes originating in China

Seized counterfeit $1 notes originating in China are fakes of Series 2006 notes and bear the 4 of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

Image courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

In an atypical seizure, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the International Falls Port of Entry on Jan. 24 seized $900,000 in counterfeit $1 Federal Reserve notes that was discovered in a commercial rail shipment originating from China.

Typically, the counterfeit paper notes seized by federal officials are of higher denominations.

According to a Jan. 25 CBP press statement, “a rail container was referred for a Customs Exam Station inspection on Dec. 14, 2019.”

The Port of Entry was International Falls, Minnesota.

The statement continued, “During the examination, CBP discovered 45 cartons of possible counterfeit currency in the form of $1 bills with a total face value of $900,000. The United States Secret Service was contacted [who] determined the currency is counterfeit.”

“The counterfeit currency was seized and will be turned over to the Secret Service.”

The $1 denomination of the seized fakes is unusual. According to various news accounts, the $20 denomination is the most heavily counterfeited note domestically, with the $100 denomination being the favorite of counterfeiters outside the United States.

A CBP official confirmed that the fakes were masquerading as Series 2006 notes for the Cleveland Federal Reserve district. 

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