Feds Arrest 4 Israelis for Manufacturing $77 Million in Fake Bills

The Israelis are among 13 people who ran a vast counterfeit ring since 1999.

Hundred dollar bills.
Illustration: Hundred dollar bills. Dreamstime

U.S. federal authorities have reportedly arrested 13 people, including four Israelis, in connection to a vast counterfeit ring which produced fake 100-dollar bills in Israel later circulated in the U.S., according to the U.S. Justice Department.

The Israelis were among 10 people indicted for racketeering and conspiring to commit various counterfeiting offenses, according to a CBS affiliate in Washington D.C. The other suspects were charged with participating in the conspiracy.

The ring was reportedly responsible for manufacturing more than $77 million in fake $100 bills at Israeli locations since 1999. The counterfeit notes were then distributed throughout the East Coast, according to Bloomberg News.

The suspects allegedly moved their operation to a sophisticated printing plant in New Jersey in May 2014, which was soon after raided by U.S. Secret Service agents. Authorities reportedly seized two offset printing presses, other printing machines and $2.5 million in counterfeit bills.

The four Israelis reportedly reside in Israel full-time, yet were arrested at the New Jersey printing plant. The Secret Service agents reportedly called the counterfeit bills "the Russian-Israeli note," since the arrested Israelis predominately spoke Russian.