Million-dollar Silver Certificates

million dollar billTwo Germans have been apprehended in Austria after bringing $500 million in counterfeit million-dollar bills to a bank.
The Austrian National Analysis Center (NAC) examined the 493 banknotes Hölzen and B. had in their possession. Of those notes, 295 were originally $1 bills. Counterfeiters increased the face value of the bills to $1 million, simply by adding six zeros. The counterfeiting was done "very expensively and professionally," say the specialists.

The men - one of whom is an attorney - claim that they were not trying to pass counterfeit money because they thought the bills were genuine.  They now suspect that they may have been victims of a scam.

Link.

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I know hindsight is 20/20, but I think it would be common sense to at least do some basic research if you had a million dollars on the line.

At least I'm assuming they weren't just given it for free.
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While the guys with the bills may have been total morons, I don't see how a crime was committed. The article says that they went to the bank with the intention of finding out how much the bills were worth and having that amount deposited. It's not like they demanded a million dollars per bill be deposited. The bank should have kept the bills it had, deposited nothing,and contacted the police. The police should have questioned the people trying to cash in the bills and determined their intent. They clearly had no idea of the value as they asked for the bank to determine value. As long as they immediately said "This Christian guy gave us these, he's trying to rip us off!" there's no proof of intent to defraud a financial institution. Now if they wrote a deposit slip with a value on it, that would have been a different story.
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Maybe they thought the U.S. was turning into Zimbabwe, printing larger and larger bills.

I'm curious to know how you get your hands on $500 million in CASH and not at least suspect shady dealings.
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@Ade

Sure, but could you tell if German currency is legit just by looking at it? They are either ignorant of knowing what the bill actually was supposed to look like, or they are feigning ignorance. It's true, Europeans can know just as little about the US as is vice versa.
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