Fake denominations of United States currency
Fake denominations of United States currency is faux "currency" which makes no assertion of being legal tender created by individuals as promotions, practical jokes, or social statements. It is legal to print so long as it makes no assertion, whether by appearance or statement, of authenticity.
These copper coins were about one-quarter the size of a regular U.S. cent and depicted President Richard M. Nixon on the obverse. The reverse showed the Watergate Hotel. They were issued as novelty items and as political commentary on inflation that occurred under President Nixon. Other types of coins have been similarly miniaturized before and since as souvenirs or collectors' items.
Although various US states printed $3 bills before the unification of the currency, no US$3 bills have ever been printed. However, various fake US$3 bills have been released over time, generally poking fun at politicians or celebrities such as Richard Nixon, Michael Jackson, George W. Bush, both Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama in reference to the idiomatic expression "queer as a three-dollar bill" or "phony as a three-dollar bill". In the 1960s, Mad printed a $3 bill that featured a portrait of Alfred E. Neuman and read: "This is not legal tender—nor will a tenderizer help it." Mad writer Frank Jacobs said that the magazine ran afoul of the US Secret Service because the $3 bill was accepted by change machines at casinos.
In the 1970s, a fake bill dispensed in gumball machines had a denomination of "TWE DOLLARS". Much of the artwork was duplicated from the real twenty-dollar bill, including the portrait of Andrew Jackson, but the name "Jefferson" was printed under Jackson's picture. The country's name was printed as "The Untied States of Anemia." The "twe-dollar bill" has 3s in the corners.
In 2001, a local man purchased $99 worth of merchandise in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, at a Fashion Bug store with a $200 bill featuring then-President George W. Bush on the front. The back featured an image of the White House with signs in the front lawn, bearing phrases such as "WE LIKE BROCCOLI" and "USA DESERVES A TAX CUT." The local man was later charged with forgery, theft by deception and receiving stolen property.
The United States has never issued a million dollar bill. However, many businesses print million dollar bills for sale as novelties. Such bills do not assert that they are legal tender. The Secret Service has declared them legal to print or own and does not consider them counterfeit.
Some have attempted to fraudulently pass or otherwise use these novelty bills as though they were real currency, usually resulting in arrest.
In March 2006, agents from ICE and the Secret Service seized 250 notes, each bearing a denomination of $1,000,000,000 (one billion dollars) from a West Hollywood apartment. The suspect had previously been arrested on federal charges for attempting to smuggle more than $37,000 in currency into the U.S. following a trip to South Korea in 2002. Another incident involving similar notes bearing a denomination each of $500,000,000, occurred in Chiasso, Switzerland in June of 2009.
- The MAD World of William M. Gaines, by Frank Jacobs, 1972; Lyle Stuart
- "In Anything We Trust". MSNBC. 2004-09-01. Archived from the original on 2004-09-02. Retrieved 2009-01-30.
- Woman says she thought $1 million bill was real, AP, via MSNBC.com, March 11, 2004.
- "Currency Denominations FAQs". U.S. Department of the Treasury. 2014-07-08. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
- "Homeland Security Agents Seize "Billion Dollar" Bogus Federal Reserve Notes". Communitydispatch.com. Retrieved 2014-05-09.