Monday, September 10, 2012
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Gwinnett Daily Post
ATHENS — Counterfeit money smuggled into the U.S. from Peru is continuing to find its way to Georgia, authorities said.
The bills are being smuggled from South America a year after authorities broke up a ring that flooded the Athens area with the fake money.
Details of the South American counterfeiting scheme were revealed when a man pleaded guilty last week in U.S. District Court in Athens on a charge of possession of counterfeit currency.
Peru has become the world's counterfeiting capital, according to reports. Peruvian counterfeiters produce about 17 percent of all fake currency circulating in the U.S., authorities said.
The problem became so great that the Secret Service joined with Peruvian authorities to form the Peruvian Counterfeit Task Force. The agency's director earlier this year talked about the agency's successes when appearing before a congressional subcommittee.
"To date, PCTF operations have led to 92 arrests, 11 counterfeit plant suppressions, and the seizure of over $37.4 million in counterfeit currency," Mark Sullivan told subcommittee members.