Funny Money

Status: Counterfeit currency
Reuters is reporting that U.S. Customs agents have apprehended a man who had 250 $1 billion bills stashed away in his apartment. The bills showed President Cleveland, and had an issue date of 1934. Figuring out that they were counterfeit was easy, since there is no such thing as a $1 billion bill. You have to wonder how he was planning to exchange them for real cash, since anyone stupid enough to accept them wouldn't have $1 billion in the first place. In fact, is it even a crime to possess obviously fake money? Don't a lot of places sell fake $1 million bills?

image In other strange currency news, fake "porn Euros" are apparently being mistaken for real money over in Europe: "The notes, in 300, 600 and 1,000 euro denominations have a ring of 12 hearts instead of the usual EU stars and feature hunky men and big-breasted nude women. Instead of the word 'Euro' being printed in the corner these notes have 'Eros' - the Greek god of love. But despite these differences - and the fact that the only large euro notes currently in circulation are 100s, 200s and 500s - police say they are being passed off as the real thing. Cologne newsagent Bernd Friedhelm, 33, accepted one of the fake 600 euro notes from an unknown customer who bought two cartons of cigarettes and walked off with 534 euros in change. Friedhelm said: 'He told me it was a new type of note and I just figured I hadn't seen one before.'" (Oh, and the full-size version of the thumbnail might not be safe for work.)

In Hippo Eats Dwarf I write about a similar case of porn Euros that circulated in 2002. I noted that: "German authorities discovered shoppers were using fake 300- and 1000-euro notes adorned with pictures of buxom naked women. The European central bank had given the firm Planet-Present permission to distribute the bills as a publicity stunt, never realizing people might think the sexy money was real." The 2002 case sounds awfully similar to the 2006 case. So similar, in fact, that the story kind of sounds like an urban legend.


Posted on Tue Mar 14, 2006


Have you noticed the text and URL on the banknotes? The text basically says that you can order your own fake notes on the websites, which are and (Schein = german for "banknote"). I've tried to look at the sites but they definitely seem to be NSFW...
Posted by Christophe Thill  on  Wed Mar 15, 2006  at  03:23 AM
Cashiers are sometimes so busy they do not check anything. Years ago there was one guy who bought supplies with an (inadvisely published) ad that _resembled_ a banknote...
Posted by VL  on  Wed Mar 15, 2006  at  05:29 AM
I have a $10,000,000 US note. It has Ronald Reagan on it. It is real.
Posted by BugbearSloth  in  earth, 3rd planet, sol system  on  Wed Mar 15, 2006  at  08:46 AM
BugbearSloth is obviously lying. About being from Earth, I mean.
Posted by Big Gary in Heavener, Oklahoma  on  Wed Mar 15, 2006  at  12:00 PM
It would be fun to make some counterfeit bills which have the motto "a fool and his money are soon parted." Maybe in Latin, though. Anyone up to translating it for me?
Posted by Citizen Premier  in  spite of public outcry  on  Wed Mar 15, 2006  at  05:44 PM
Just send me $20, Citizen Premier, and I'll give you a 100% (+/- 98%) accurate Latin translation! I may also be willing to accept payment in 300-euro banknotes.

It really is incredibly amazing how easy it is to buy something without legal currency. I don't know how many times I've seen cashiers with odd bits of foreign currency in their tills, even though the bills and coins look nothing at all like the legal currency of the country. I could probably get away with using trade beads or seashells.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Wed Mar 15, 2006  at  06:13 PM
Photos of the bills at The Smoking Gun:
Posted by Joe  on  Wed Mar 15, 2006  at  08:24 PM
Re: funny money, do you know of Canadian Tire Money? Here's the link, with history and images:

You receive 1% of your purchase back in Canadian Tire money if you pay cash, and it's legal tender in any Canadian Tire store (a chain of department stores specializing in automotive, outdoor/sporting goods and housewares). It's made with real banknote paper and even includes the latest anti-counterfeiting technology.Every once in a while there's a story of this "currency" being accepted in the oddest places....
Posted by Jalvar  on  Fri Mar 17, 2006  at  11:16 AM
So how much of these Fake Erotic german Euro money's are worth? Does anybody know?
I looked from some pages and they say 5 US dollars. Could this be true people really pay money for this fake money?
Posted by Mary  on  Sat Feb 13, 2010  at  03:42 PM
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