Counterfeit United States currency
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Counterfeiting of the currency of the United States is widely attempted. According to the United States Department of Treasury, an estimated $70 million in counterfeit bills are in circulation, or approximately 1 note in counterfeits for every 10,000 in genuine currency, with an upper bound of $200 million counterfeit, or 1 counterfeit per 4,000 genuine notes.
However, these numbers are based on annual seizure rates on counterfeiting, and the actual stock of counterfeit money is uncertain because some counterfeit notes successfully circulate for a few transactions.
Shortly after the Civil War, it was estimated that one third to one half of the nation's currency was counterfeit. Due to this fact, counterfeit money posed a major threat to the economy and financial system in America.
In accordance, the Secret Service, founded in 1865, stated its primary task to be reducing counterfeit money in circulation. The current figure of American counterfeit bills is less than .01%.
Several specific examples of groups counterfeiting United States currency have also been noted.
Superdollars, very high quality counterfeit one hundred-dollar bills, were some of the most widely distributed counterfeit American dollar bills and were still being produced after 2007. The Congressional Research Service has conducted a study and concluded with an accusation that North Korea was responsible for their production, but Pyongyang denied any involvement with Superdollar.
Peru 2001 CB-B2 series $100 bill incident
In 2005, Peruvian Banks ceased to accept $100 bills from the 2001 series CB-B2, due to a detection in a series of counterfeit bills in Peruvian circulation. The Peruvian media reported that the notes were so well made that they were "perfect fakes". The differences between them and genuine bills were reportedly minuscule and difficult to detect. According to Peruvian news reports, a printing plate from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing was stolen by a criminal, with possible links to al-Qaeda, and the plate was likely used to produce the counterfeit bills.
Operation Gait $100 bills
Upon collecting bills, the Federal Reserve checks all notes, destroying any whose appearance fails to fit that of a federal bill.
- "Press Release on Joint Report on Use and Counterfeiting of U.S. Currency Abroad". 2006-10-25.
- "7. Estimates of Counterfeiting", The Use and Counterfeiting of United States Currency Abroad, Part 3 (PDF), US Department of Treasury, Sep 2006, p. 70
- "FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF SAN FRANCISCO: How much money in circulation is counterfeit?". October 13, 2013.
- "Congressional Research Service: North Korean Counterfeiting of U.S. Currency" (PDF). 12 October 2013.
- "U.S. Secret Service Trains Peruvians on Fake Bills (Update1)". Bloomberg. 12 April 2005.
- "Es imposible controlar la legitimidad del dólar". El Comercio. April 15, 2005. Archived from the original on May 28, 2007.
- The Economics of Counterfeiting. By Elena Quercioli and Lones Smith, Econometrica, May 2015.
- Counterfeit Money. By Elena Quercioli and Lones Smith, Encyclopedia of Law and Economics, Edited by Juergen Backaus, Springer New York, 2014
- Article by the Christian Science Monitor: "Made in South America: new breed of fake US dollars" Thu Apr 14, 4:00 AM ET
- "The Use and Counterfeiting of United States Currency Abroad" United States Department of Treasury
- Estimating the Volume of Counterfeit U.S. Currency in Circulation Worldwide: Data and Extrapolation. By Ruth Judson and Richard Porter, 1 March 2010.