What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell us
Daily Pulse

Italian police seize $6 trillion in fake bonds

Joel Patterson Feb 17, 2012

The pulse is up on news that today Italian police seized fake U.S. Treasury bonds with a face value of a cool $6 trillion. That’s more than a third of the U.S. national debt.

The counterfeits were discovered in a Zurich, Switzerland warehouse as part of an investigation into mafia activity in the Vulture-Melfese area in the southern Basilicata region, according to the BBC.

Contained in three metal trunks bearing the inscription “Chicago Federal Reserve System,” the fake bonds were printed printed in $1 billion denominations and treated to look like they dated back to 1934.

Those attempting to perpetrate the fraud were trying to sell them to developing nations. Arrest warrants have been issued for eight suspects who’ve been linked with trying to buy plutonium from unnamed Nigerian sources.

Investigators who uncovered the attempted fraud said the forgeries presented “severe threats” to international economic security.

News and information you need, from a source you trust.

In a world where it’s easier to find disinformation than real information, trustworthy journalism is critical to our democracy and our everyday lives. And you rely on Marketplace to be that objective, credible source, each and every day.

This vital work isn’t possible without you. Marketplace is sustained by our community of Investors—listeners, readers, and donors like you who believe that a free press is essential – and worth supporting.

Stand up for independent news—become a Marketplace Investor today with a donation in any amount.