The 24-year-old suspect’s guilty plea in federal court Wednesday was the latest in series of Georgia convictions involving phony Federal Reserve Notes, or FRNs, over the past few years, the Athens Banner-Herald reported.
Last year, authorities in Athens broke up a smuggling ring that flooded the area with fake $100 bills during Fourth of July weekend, when busy cashiers would be less likely to look closely at the bills.
In both cases, the production of the fake cash was traced back to organized crime families in Peru.
Over the years Peru has grown into the counterfeit capital of the world, accounting for some 17 percent of counterfeit currency circulating in the U.S., the Banner-Herald reported.
“According to (a Secret Service agent), the bills are originating out of Peru and are being printed by the organized crime families in that area, basically the drug cartels,” an affidavit written by an Athens-Clarke detective last year and obtained by the Banner-Herald said.
In fact, the problem has gotten so bad that federal authorities has partnered with their Peruvian counterparts to form the Peruvian Counterfeit Task Force (PCTF).
"To date, PCTF operations have led to 92 arrests, 11 counterfeit plant suppressions, and the seizure of over $37.4 million in counterfeit currency," Mark Sullivan, the agency’s director, told a congressional subcommittee earlier this year.
Athens authorities initially charged suspect Quinn Michael Gibson with forgery, but federal authorities later picked up the case and pursued the South American connection. A Secret Service agent examining the bills verified they were they were the same type of counterfeit bills known to originate in Peru, according to the Banner-Herald.
In court, Gibson admitted to obtaining the fake $20 and $50 bills in Ecuador and smuggling them back into a the States inside a video cassette recorder.
He faces up to 20 years in prison, but was not immediately sentenced following the conviction.
i'm ready to air some grievances and if i need to travel to the nearest…
lmao at broch giving advice that hasn't been valid since 1960. just die already
While I wish the Tea Party the best of luck (good lord, I can't believe…
Does Atlanta Beltline have a report with just pictures in it? All that reading is…
Don't you mean Tim "Turf" Lee?
@Vox I am aware of your lying dog, heretical brethren. Pftth! I spit at them!…