PHILADELPHIA --Fifteen million dollars could do a lot of good, but when that currency is fake, it could ruin a lot of lives. U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s recent seizures of four huge loads of counterfeit currency in Philadelphia may prevent a lot of people from becoming victims.
CBP officers seized a combined $14,368,160 in various denominations of counterfeit U.S. currency.
The two most recent seizures occurred on May 26, when CBP officers seized two shipments that each contained $1,804,800 of counterfeit currency. Previously, CBP officers seized $7,795,680 of counterfeit currency on May 5 and $2,962,880 of counterfeit currency on May 2.
The currency too closely resembled legal U.S. currency. With the increased use of online marketplaces creating more in-person transactions, unscrupulous people could potentially victimize inexperienced sellers or small businesses by using the counterfeit currency during fraudulent purchases or in other financial fraud crimes.
CBP officers turned the currency over to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Secret Service special agents in Philadelphia who coordinated an investigation with HSI agents and U.S. Secret Service agents in Chicago.
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 businesses can protect themselves from inadvertently receiving counterfeit currency by learning to quickly identify authentic Federal Reserve notes.
“Law enforcement knows that counterfeit and fictitious bank notes have been used in financial crimes, especially ones that target our nation’s more vulnerable seniors and small business owners,” said Rene Ortega, 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, our businesses, and the security of the United States economic system.”
CBP's border security mission is led at our nation’s Ports of Entry by CBP officers and agriculture specialists from the Office of Field Operations. CBP screens international travelers and cargo and searches for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, invasive weeds and pests, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality.
Follow the Director of CBP’s Baltimore Field Office on Twitter at @DFOBaltimore for breaking news, current events, human interest stories and photos, and CBP’s Office of Field Operations on Instagram at @cbpfieldops.