Italian police have confiscated around $6 trillion of counterfeit U.S. Treasury Bonds on Friday, a number equal to almost half of the entire U.S. debt. As ridiculous as that figure sounds (as unbelievable as Walmart's $1 million bill thief?), Italian Investigators in Potenza Italy told the BBC that the fraud posed "severe threats" to international financial security. Bloomberg broke down the specifics on the fake bonds: "The U.S. embassy in Rome has examined the securities dated 1934, which had a nominal value of $1 billion apiece, they said in the statement. Officials for the embassy didn’t have an immediate comment." The AP reports that eight people have been arrested and that the bonds were found in safety deposit boxes in Zurich. Apparently counterfeit bonds have become a trend in Italy, as the BBC reports that there were at least three cases in 2009. Bloomberg adds that the "U.S. Secret Service averages about 100 cases a year related to bonds and other fictitious instruments," though this is the first one that amounts to nearly half of the U.S. debt.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.