Million-dollar Silver Certificates

Two 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.


How could anyone be so stupid...whether they did this intentionally , or were 'victims' anyone that dense?

George Washington on a million $ bill ? Please...
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It's easy to say they're stupid not to know which US President goes onto what bill. But hands up who know what or who is depicted on any foreign bank note. I'd be surprised if any US citizens could describe without hesitation who or what's shown on the Canadian or Mexican bank notes.. and those are your neighbours. Hell, since the world has come to pay with shiny plastic cards probably most would have trouble stating correctly what's on a $100 bill.

@EJ - spot on...
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General public may not know, but I would think a bank would know before cashing a million dollar bill. I'm pretty sure this denomoniation of US bill doesn't even exist. If I worked in a bank and didn't know, I think I'd at least google it or call someone.
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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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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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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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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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