'Fake' US$1 million bills seized in central Taiwan

'Fake' US$1 million bills seized in central Taiwan

19.07.2016

The bureau discovered that the notes were based on genuine US$1 bills issued by the U.S. Federal Reserve, and said the sophisticated technique used to create them had caught experts by surprise.Investigators were concerned that other counterfeit U.S. dollars in smaller denominations might be circulating in Taiwan.

Lee Chin-shan, deputy chief of the bureau's Nantou Station, said that a man surnamed Hsu (許), who used to do business in China but is now retired, donated a US$1 million bill to a charity foundation last year, and when the charity tried to cash it at Citibank, the bank clerk could not tell if it was genuine or fake.

The bill was sent to its headquarters in the United States, which later determined that it was indeed a fake. The U.S. Secret Service determined that the bill was created using genuine US$1 bills issued in 1963. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing under the U.S. Department of Treasury also confirmed that the highest denomination issued is US$100,000, and that it has never issued a bill with a face value of US$1 million.

Investigators searched Hsu's house in Tsaotun, Nantou, in November last year, seizing the 100 bills. Hsu told investigators that the bills were given to him by a Chinese official at a banquet in China more than two decades ago because "Deng Xiaoping (the top Chinese leader at the time) wanted to make up for your investment losses in the mainland."

Hsu has been sent to the Nantou District Prosecutors Office for using forged securities. The bureau said it will work with the United States to continue the probe into the case. Meanwhile, bank executives said that due to reports of counterfeit U.S. dollar bills, bank branches will only accept new U.S. dollar bills. Older bills will have to be sent to bank headquarters to determine their authenticity, in a bid to cut the chances of transactions using fake U.S. dollar bills.

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