Millions in Counterfeit $100 Bills Circulating in Bay Area

100 dollar bills (torbakhopper / Flickr / CC)
torbakhopper / Flickr / CC

The Secret Service is searching for the source of millions in counterfeit $100 bills that are circulating in the Bay Area.

To date, nearly six million dollars worth of the fake bills have been confiscated in fiscal year 2016.

According to the East Bay Times, the Secret Service confiscated “a total of $4.6 million” in fake bills from Northern California in 2012. In fiscal year 2015, the number jumped to $6.3 million, and Special Agent David Thomas says things appear to be “on track for right around $6 million” when fiscal year 2016 ends September 30.

Thomas told the Times that the Secret Service carried out multiple raids in February, looking for the source of the fake bills. He added, “We’ve made multiple arrests. We did find some evidence, but we’re still looking for the manufacturer.” He said, “In an operation this large, you have multiple distribution systems. When we run into a dead end, if they can’t or won’t identify the source, they get prosecuted.”

Such raids and arrests are a normal part of Secret Service work in Northern California. Thomas said agents “conduct an average of 75 counterfeit currency criminal investigations per year in Northern California resulting in about 30 arrests.”

Actual U.S. currency is printed with an “Intaglio printer” which has “metal plate stamped with the image.” Thomas says the $100 bills they are seeing now “were produced by an offset printer with changing serial numbers.”

Money is not the only commodity subject to counterfeit. In June, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials confiscated $28,000 in counterfeit NBA merchandise in the Bay Area.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at