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CBP Seizes $351K of Counterfeit Currency in Milwaukee

Release Date: 
June 3, 2020

MILWAUKEE, Wi– Using cold hard cash to pay for items in today’s world is becoming less and less frequent. However, cash is still used for daily purchases and just last year more than $100 million of counterfeit currency was exchanged.Counterfeit currency

In order to stop the spread of counterfeit currency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are always on the lookout to stop shipments with fake cash. One shipment of counterfeit currency that will not make its destination was seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at an Express Consignment Operations facility in Milwaukee on May 27. CBP seized 3,515 100-dollar bills for a total of $351,500.

The shipment arrived from Shanghai, China and was headed for a residence in Milwaukee. The parcel was selected for examination and when the parcel was opened, officers found what was later confirmed as counterfeit currency. The currency was made of poor material, was missing the required watermark, had no red and blue imbedded fibers, each bill had the same serial number, and there were Chinese letters on back of bills in red.

"The importation of counterfeit currency can pose a threat not only to the United States economy, but our national security as well,” said William Braun, Service Port Director, Milwaukee. “It is astonishing to see the contraband our officers discover on a daily basis. They continue to uncover violations of U.S. law, day after day. That is vigilance! The illegal importation of this amount of counterfeit currency has the potential to be a very serious criminal act. I give the officers credit for helping to maintain the integrity of our system and protecting the citizens of the United States.”

Counterfeit money like this, described as Foreign Writing Notes, is a violation of federal law and is considered contraband. These Foreign Writing Notes were destroyed. Counterfeit money like this is sometimes classified as motion picture or foreign writing notes, and is a violation of federal law. Violators can be arrested.

According to the Secret Service, “Foreign Writing” notes have been recorded as successfully passed in every major city in the U.S. and at both small and large retailers. Special Agents and Investigative Analysts from around the country will continue to work closely with state and local law enforcement partners to minimize risks by informing the public and apprehending those responsible for passing counterfeit. Both consumers and retailers can protect themselves from inadvertently receiving a Motion Picture or Foreign Writing notes by quickly glancing at the note to ensure it does not read “For Motion Picture Use Only” or display bright pink Chinese characters.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021