$165,972 worth of counterfeit coins, bills stopped by CBP in Chicago

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized 281 shipments containing counterfeit coins and $100 bills at Chicago's International Mail Facility.

Authorities say 95 percent of the shipments arrived from China.

The first two shipments were intercepted on April 16. The first package had $149,200 worth of $100 bills and was destined for a residence in Georgia.

The second package contained $9,700 worth of $100 bills and was destined for a residence in Texas.

Both shipments were declared as bar props, however, authorities say counterfeiting Federal Reserve notes is a federal crime.

On April 21, officers seized 279 parcels that contained various denominations in coin currency.

The first seizure consisted of 88 parcels containing 2,020 coins. The next seizure was comprised of 93 parcels containing 2,548 coins, authorities said.

The third seizure was 52 parcels containing 908 counterfeit coins.


The final seizure was 46 parcels containing 1,191 coins.

In total, officers seized (39) 50 cent coins, 6,345 $1.00 coins, and 283 $2.50 coins.

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Authorities say Most of the coins had a buffalo, a bald eagle or Native Americans embossed on the coins; collector items which are sold for profit.

The face value of this bogus currency was $165,972, however, all of it is worthless.

"Counterfeiting is a lucrative business which is often used to finance illegal activities such as trafficking in human beings, drugs, and even terrorism." said Mike Pfeiffer, Assistant Area Port Director-Chicago.  "These are significant seizures made by officers which prevents criminal groups from targeting our citizens, businesses and the security of the United States."