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Calif. man caught with fake billion-dollar bills

U.S. Customs agents in California said Tuesday they found 250 bogus billion-dollar bills while investigating a man charged with currency smuggling.
/ Source: Reuters

The counterfeit money looked good, but there was one flaw. There’s no such thing as a $1 billion bill.

U.S. Customs agents in California said Tuesday they had found 250 bogus billion-dollar bills while investigating a man charged with currency smuggling.

Tekle Zigetta, 45, pleaded guilty to three federal counts of trying to bring cash, phony bills and a fake $100,000 gold certificate into the United States in January.

Further investigation led agents to a West Hollywood apartment where they found the stash of yellowing and wrinkled $1 billion bills with an issue date of 1934 and bearing a picture of President Grover Cleveland.

“You would think the $1 billion denomination would be a giveaway that these notes are fake, but some people are still taken in,” said James Todak, a secret services agent involved in the probe.