PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized nearly $100,000 in counterfeit euros and dollars on September 7 that shipped in international air cargo from Russia and was destined to an address near Chicago.
The shipment initially arrived on August 19 and CBP officers placed a hold on the parcel, which was manifested as ‘Play Money for Monopoly.” When officers examined the parcel, they discovered 77,300 euros in 100 euro bills, and $6,515 in $5 U.S. bills. The 77,300 euros converts to $91,361 U.S. dollars for a combined equivalency of $97,876 dollars.
The currency appears to be lesser quality reproductions of legal notes. CBP contacted the U.S. Secret Service who confirmed that the currency was counterfeit. CBP officers turned the currency over to Secret Service special agents on Thursday.
The United States places legal restrictions on the reproduction of banknote images and those who attempt to pass these fictitious notes as legal tender face severe consequences under U.S. law.
“Law enforcement knows that counterfeit and fictitious bank notes have been used in financial crimes, especially ones that target our nation’s unwitting seniors, some of whom have lost their entire life savings,” said Edward Moriarty, CBP’s Acting Area Port Director in Philadelphia. “Customs and Border Protection is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to combat illicit efforts that target our citizens, businesses, and the security of the United States’ economic system.”
According to the U.S. Secret Service, counterfeiting currency is a lucrative business and is often used to finance illegal activities, including financial fraud, narcotics smuggling, terrorism, and attacks against our nation’s financial systems.
Consumers and retailers can protect themselves from inadvertently receiving counterfeit currency by learning to quickly identify the security features of authentic Federal Reserve notes.
CBP's border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations. Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders. Learn more about what CBP accomplished during "A Typical Day" in 2020.