CASH REGISTER DISPLAY
Wells Fargo Gave Me A Bad $20
My interest in this subject began a couple of months ago when Wells Fargo
gave me what a local gas station attendant a few hours later deemed to be a counterfeit
attendant wanted to keep it and have me give him another $20 bill, too. I said
the questionable bill the next day as payment for fast food. They took the
without comment. Later that day, I went back to the bank and asked them about
their safeguards to ensure that they don't pass them to customers. Mostly, I was
told they depend upon their tellers and occasional mechanical checkings. Had I
the bill back to them, they might have taken it from without compensation!
In 1861, one of every three greenbacks was a counterfeit. But the US survived.
Maybe, I make too much of the problem of counterfeiting here. Still, the US Dollar
is very weak, declining at an accelerating 7.5% rate this past year. At the very
little essay will get some of you to look more closely at the money you take so
confidently from a merchant or even a bank!
Spot counterfeit money
Genuine paper currency
is sometimes altered in an attempt to increase its face value. One common method is to
glue numerals from higher denomination notes to the corners of lower denomination notes.
How Big A Threat To The Dollar Is Counterfeiting?
Could You Tell The Difference between A Good One And A Bad
The Secret Service tells us that the amount of counterfeit money in the US that has been
detected has risen from $39.2 million in 1999 to $62 million in 2006. Despite the rise,
of fake money in circulation is a fraction of 1% of genuine currency", Secret Service
Eric Zahren says. Unfortunately, ten years ago the Secret Service told Congress that
money was estimated to be only 1/1000 of the money in circulation. So, your chances
counterfeit money may be 10 times what it was ten years ago,
As the technology for scanning, digital color and offset printing has become much so
improved and so much cheaper, more and more "amateurs: are getting in on the scam.
are bold. One person who was arrested charged people, including an undercover agent, for a
counterfeiting how-to class. One man was arrested after dancers in a strip club realized
he was passing
out fake bills and called police while the bouncer held the man. A 62-year-old woman known
Grandma was caught this month trying to sell fake money at less than face
value." Here is a
bag of counterfeit money confidcated from a 15-year old Florida student
Your eyes are almost certainly better than mine. But I know I wouldn't be able to catch
many of these counterfeits. I think the trend is clear. Paper money can be
more and more cheaply
and exactly duplicated. We will eventually have to depend exclusively on electronic
The US government will, of course, deny the extent and growth of the problem, all the
are working hard to make US currency harder to exactly counterfeit. More colors,
color shifting, watermarks, and imbedded metal tags have recently been added. That
will work for a while, but the counterfeiters are determioned and very skilled, and most
us don't have the time, eyes or the expertise to catch the bad bills.
The World Wide
Threat of Counterfeiting
More than 60% of US currency is abroad. A higher percentage is counterfeited
Terrorist and drug cartels have the money to buy the best equipment for counterfeiting.
Some counterfeiters are supported by officals in countries like North Korea.
may be used to pay for expensive nuclear projects. And its production may even be
at destroying world wide confidence in the US Dollar. Professional foreign
"offset printing methods to make a printing press from a photographic negative of a
It takes an experienced bank teller to detect these "SUPER" counterfeits.
overseas efforts to trackdown counterfeiters tend to come in irregular spurts or
years there is more pressure than others to find the bad money. For many reasons,
the amount of
counterfeit money in circulation, can not be known. Some countries even report no
though they are known to have lots of it. Foreign law enforcement officals vary
widely in their impression
about the extent to which US money is counterfeited.. Swiss, Italian & Hungarian
widespread it is, atrributing it to professional counterfeiters in Eastern European and in
former Soviet Union.
The BBCs investigative program Panorama researched the "Super"
Dollar. Here is their report:.
"A superdollar is an almost perfect counterfeit American dollar
bill....Millions of dollars of the fake
cash have been passed into circulation since its existence was first noticed over a decade
money, officially known as Note Family - C14342, is thought to originate from communist
Experts believe that the money is being produced and flooded into the system, mostly by
diplomats as they travel abroad. It is also circulated by criminals - with the Russian
mafia and even
Republican organisations in Northern Ireland involved in the distribution process...North
dismisses the allegations and says that the claims being made against it are just Western
"What is known, is that in the late 1980s, US Intelligence discovered that the North
had acquired a highly sophisticated printing press, known as the intaglio. This press is
similar to the
one used to print money in the US and would give North Korea the ability to produce
banknotes if they wanted to. Further evidence comes from defectors, whose stories all seem
consistent with US claims,
"Although it is impossible to corroborate their stories, they appear to be
consistent. One defector who
spoke to Panorama on the condition of anonymity said he had spent his life making
dollars, adding that they were such good quality that they fooled experts. He said:
was all done at government level. We had a special plant for doing it. When I
defected I brought
some of these counterfeit notes to South
Korea, and I showed them to the experts in the South
Korean intelligence agency. They said - these are not fake notes. Theyre real.
said: We bought the best of everything - the best equipment and the best ink. But we
also had the
very best people, people who had real expertise and knowledge in the field. When
officials or diplomats travelled to south-east Asia they distributed the counterfeit notes
mixed in with
the real ones, at a ratio of about 50:50"...
... A "police investigation produced a detailed picture
of an international counterfeiting cartel. The
surveillance shows that it's all run by a tightly knit group of criminals. They're getting
their hands on the
superdollars in Moscow. The counterfeit cash is then smuggled to Dublin, from Ireland it's
Birmingham and distributed in the criminal underworld. Much of it is then bought in bulk
by one man."
"Panorama" interviewed the Russian Interior Ministry General Vladimir Uskov,
whose men reportedly
followed Sean Garland as he visited the North Korean Embassy in Moscow. "We
registered his contacts
with the North Korean Embassy," Uskov said. "He visited the embassy several
times. The fact [that] he
went to the North Korean Embassy, our information was that people working there might have
involved in the transportation of counterfeit dollars."
Iran and Syria
North Korea is not the only country to have been accused by the United States of
$100 bills on a grand scale. The U.S. Public Broadcasting System (PBS) program
22 October 1996 reported that the governments of Iran and Syria had been accused by U.S.
Congressional investigators of involvement in the production and distribution of
high-quality dollar bills.
The Iranian government dismissed the charges, and no indictments were ever filed.
I came across some information which
appears to link Hezbollah to counterfeiting, even including US $100 bills - example below.
The info comes from an on
line Intel page and one always has to question the veracity of some of the information
available through such sites. There's information and dis-information ... and then just
plain BS. But this looks somewhat legit, as if that can even be trusted.
There's also additional info through linked sites and an available doc file linked
below as well.
Hezbollah as producer and distributor of forged notes
During the second half of the 1990s, money counterfeiting in the Bekaa region
continued to thrive. However, though the fake dollars were still of high quality, they did
not match the standards of the Super Dollar. In this industry,
Hezbollah plays a prominent role, while joining forces with criminal elements and taking
advantage of its powerful position in the Bekaa and its relations with Iran and Syria.
The Bekaa region is the heart of the counterfeiting industry in
Lebanon. The Hezbollah-controlled town of Brital, south of Baalbek (which is home to a
population of some 7,000 Shiites) is the main center of money counterfeiting. In the
second half of the 1990s, Brital housed an estimated ten to fifteen printing presses.
These presses were operated in homes and workshops, and specialized in various lines of
production, in particular high-quality fake 100-dollar bills. In the past they also
produced fake 20-dollar and 50-dollar bills as well as fake currency of other Western and
Arab countries, of varying qualities. Reports from the last two years confirm that
the counterfeiting industry in Bekaa is still thriving, and that Hezbollah
as well as criminal elements are involved in it.
The Lebanese counterfeiting industry is in the hands of powerful
criminal elements, mainly members of large Shiite clans who closely cooperate with
Hezbollah. The leading clans in this respect are Mazloum, Saleh, Sadek, Tles (in Brital)
and al-Masri (in the village Hawr Taala, south of Brital). Hezbollah also maintains
relations with southern Lebanese clans engaged in large-scale drug smuggling, such as
Nahra (from Ibl al-Saqi) and Berro (from the village Kafr Kila).
Hezbollahs involvement in the money counterfeiting industry
allows it to benefit from the proceeds of this industry, and also entails operational
advantages for its overseas activities. The technical know-how required for counterfeiting
was exploited, as a by-product, to develop a sophisticated apparatus of document forgery.
This apparatus produces passports used by Hezbollah operatives, and exports its
products all over the world, mainly to Russia, the Ukraine, Cyprus, Latin
American countries, and Arab countries.
As for the Israeli market: fake dollars, originating from Lebanon, have been
found in the past in Israel. As of now, there are no indications of attempts to
export large amounts of forged notes to Israel. During an Israeli military
operation in the
Palestinian territories, the Palestinian Security forces were found in possession of
forged Israeli notes, but these did not originate from Lebanon. Nonetheless, both Iran and
Hezbollah have the technological capabilities enabling them to flood the Israeli market
with high-quality counterfeit notes, if and when the decision is made to do so.
Specimens of counterfeit notes from the production line of the printing
presses in the town Brital (as of 1998)
A fake 100-dollar bill produced by a printing press owned by
the Mazloum clan: high-quality forgery featuring good print quality, a good watermark,
printed fibers on the paper, and a security stripe with delicate USA print.
The Iranian and Syrian roles
Iran is an important center of
the global counterfeiting industry. Several Iranian attempts to flood the world market
with high-quality fake US dollar notes were uncovered during the 1990s. However, the
volumes circulated were not such as could severely harm the American economy.
Irans relative advantage in this respect is its access to advanced
technologies, which enable it to produce fake 100-dollar bills of outstanding quality (the
so-called Super Dollars or Super Notes). The manufacture of
Super Dollars requires a combination of photogravure printmaking,
sophisticated printing blocks, special ink and paper, proficiency in color separation, and
the technical ability to reproduce security features (e.g., security stripes). These
technologies and know-how are typical of national authorities, not of terror and crime
organizations, let alone individuals. Iran owes these advanced capabilities to none other
than the United States, who supplied them to the Shahs regime; the Ayatollahs
regimes employed them to forge American money.
In order to ward off incriminating evidence and avoid an entanglement with the
United States, Iran chose to use Hezbollah (and possibly other Lebanese elements as well)
as personnel for the manufacture and circulation of counterfeit notes. To this effect,
Iran shipped counterfeit notes to Lebanon and supplied it with advanced technologies. In
the early 1990s, Super Dollar notes surfaced in Lebanons Bekaa. It seems
that in the initial stage these notes were printed in Tehran, and Lebanon was used only as
distribution center. However, at some point in the early 1990s, Iran provided Lebanon with
intaglio machines, and the Baalbek region in Syrian-controlled Bekaa became a production
and marketing center of Super Dollar notes.
On June 15, 1996, Elaine Sciolino and Douglas Jehl published an article in the New York
Times about Syrias support of terrorism titled Syrians [sic] Game: Both
Ends Against the Middle
The article refers among other things to the Syrian support of the drug and money
counterfeiting industries in Lebanon. The following is an excerpt from the
article, which appeared under the heading A blind eye to drugs and
Syria also tolerates the counterfeiting of $100 bills in the Bekaa.
The Bekaa and other parts of Lebanon have produced high-quality fake $100 bills for
years. In recent years, the Lebanese and the Syrian authorities have uncovered offset
presses and confiscated millions of dollars and other currencies. But American officials
are much more worried about super notes, phony $100 bills made with rag cotton
paper and printed on huge, sophisticated intaglio machines used by the United States. The
first Super Note surfaced in Hong Kong in 1989, but they appeared shortly
afterwards in the Bekaa, Treasury Department officials said.
President Clinton raised the issue of counterfeiting particularly the
Super note with Assad at their meeting in Geneva in January 1994,
asking for help in uncovering the network. Christopher has asked the same question several
For more info, see Allah's
post - Sticky
Notes and LGF, Michelle,
ALF - Myrtus
Also, I have a saved
doc here which includes all of the above and more. You may be able to find additional info here.