Board Aware of Federal Reserve Notes in Illicit Investment Scheme
July 21, 2003
Circular No. 11530

To All Depository Institutions and Others Concerned in the Second Federal Reserve District:

In a supervisory letter (SR 03-14) dated July 16,2003, the Federal Reserve Board announced that is has become aware of the growing use of altered Federal Reserve Notes as part of illicit investment schemes. The notes are in face amounts of $1 billion, $100 million, or $50 million or some other large amount and have "coupons" attached to them. (A sample picture of a note is shown in the SR letter.)

Except for coins, U.S. currency is in the form of "Federal Reserve Notes." The notes are designed and printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and are circulated through the 12 Federal Reserve Banks in the United States. There should be no confusion between the phony notes and legitimate U.S. currency.

Federal law enforcement authorities have asked the Federal Reserve to advise individuals, banking organizations, and other entities who have been contacted regarding the phony Federal Reserve Notes to contact the local offices of the agencies. This includes the field offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Enforcement, or Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation Division.

Questions on this matter may be directed at this Bank to Nicholas Proto, Chief Investigator and Vice President, Legal Department.