$900K in counterfeit bills seized at border crossing in International Falls

They were found in a shipment from China.
Publish date:

Border Patrol agents in Minnesota have made a major score: a fortune in bogus bills. 

On Saturday, federal officials announced the seizure of $900,000 in counterfeit cash at the International Falls Port of Entry.

According to a release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the bills were found in a rail container that originated in China.

The container was sent to a Customs Exam Station on Dec. 14, where agents found "45 cartons of possible counterfeit currency in the form of $1 bills" inside. 

Following the discovery, the U.S. Secret Service — which investigates financial fraud in addition to protecting the president and other officials — was contacted and subsequently "determined the currency is counterfeit." 

The fake bills will be turned over to the agency, the release says.

CBP points out that the seizure has far greater implications than simply preventing the circulation of bogus cash. 

"Stopping the flow of illicit goods is a priority trade issue for CBP," they say, as "the importation of counterfeit merchandise ― including counterfeit currency ― can damage the U.S. economy."

If it seems unusual that the fake bank notes were all one-dollar bills, that's because it is: according to a 2013 Reuters report, the $20 bill is "the most frequently counterfeited note" in the U.S.

Outside the U.S., the "$100 note is the most frequently counterfeited denomination of U.S. currency," the report notes.

Next Up