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A Story I'll Bet You've Never Heard

Today at Big Hollywood, Bob Hamer recounts the story of a counterfeit case he worked as an undercover FBI agent. The case is significant because of the roles played in the deal by North Korea, China and Russia. This story got a big yawn from the media, partially because the trial took place at the same time as the OJ memorabilia case. It's funny (not in a ha-ha way) what becomes "news" and what gets largely ignored by the media.

Liu was initially snared in the Los Angeles FBI undercover investigation code-named OPERATION SMOKING DRAGON. While out on bail, he was caught passing counterfeit bills in Las Vegas casinos and arrested by the Secret Service. On March 5th, Liu was sentenced to 151 months in federal prison. But this case was much more than merely another federal conviction. Liu was passing the Supernote, a counterfeit $100 bill manufactured by the North Koreans. What made this case even more interesting was the lack of news coverage the trial received. I know because I was the undercover agent.

Liu was a major player in a criminal conspiracy in which I purchased $2 million of the counterfeit bills. I was told by a co-conspirator with whom I negotiated that I was soon to be the exclusive distributor of the bills in the United States. I would be limited to a mere $40 million annually, purchasing the bills for about 30 cents on the dollar. The trial took place in Las Vegas at the same time OJ Simpson was being prosecuted. Each day I walked from the hotel past the local courthouse to the federal building. Camp OJ was staffed by dozens of reporters from all over the nation following the antics of a former football player charged with stealing back his own memorabilia. Helicopters actually hovered overhead. Yet two blocks away, Liu was on trial in a matter involving an act of war...it is an act of aggression under international law for any country to counterfeit the currency of another nation.

During my three years undercover targeting members of an Asian criminal syndicate consisting of various loosely connected criminal conspiracies, I was tasked by FBI headquarters to obtain the Supernote. Our subjects brought me various versions of the counterfeit $100 bill, but members of two separate conspiracies brought me the Supernote. How good were these bills? Almost perfect. The bills were printed with the same color-shifting ink as in our genuine bills and printed on cotton-fiber paper using the intaglio printing process. The bills contained the security fibers as well as the watermarks. They were so good that a top analyst at Secret Service initially opined the bills were real. It wasn't until the bills were examined under a microscope the flaws were detected. In fact, when I saw enlarged photo comparisons of the bills, the imposter looked better than the real thing.

Ollie North also wrote a great column on the investigation and trial at Townhall in the fall, but it did not get much attention due to all the coverage of the election.


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Comments (8)

From the comments:" ... (Below threshold)
SillyPuddy:

From the comments:
" billhedrick
Not sure why we are worried by this, we're printing money so fast that counterfeiting is moot anyway.
"
---
Hahaha, some truth to this.

Ain't that the truth!... (Below threshold)

Ain't that the truth!

The American public is so e... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

The American public is so easily amused. You see the results in the recent national election.
Now if the counterfeiting ring was somehow involved in something like child prostitution, well there ya go.

Seeing as the Chinese 'cont... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Seeing as the Chinese 'control' the NK's you would think they would have a vested interest in not driving down the value of their financial investments here in the US.

The Cult of personality is the only thing that drives the media now. Of note Octomom and the actress that was on the bunny slope and took a tumble. High profile stories that matter not one whit while the politicians burn the treasury to the ground by investing trillions of taxpayer dollars in failing businesses.

Stories like the one that Ollie pushed out are ignored while those involving useless twits splash across the headlines burying anything that has a direct bearing on their quality of life.

Such is the state of journalism, totally in the toilet and bankrupt, unable to report on reality and instead focusing on the imaginary.

I have to disagree in that ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I have to disagree in that the Chinese "control" the NK's. You want to see racist people, go to Asia. Each looks on their neighbor as 'sub-human'. The NK's are broke, they got zip, but they do have (dare I be racist) the oriental talent for copying the work of others. Seems logical when you look at it from their point of view. The US 'makes money', they need money, so they "make" it. The Chinese are pragmatic. Taking over NK would not be worth the cost to them, both at home and abroad. You might say that they 'tolerate' Kim's crap, as long as it's bearable.

Obviously there's a scarcit... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Obviously there's a scarcity of precious news coverage time - priorities MUST be observed.

And in this case (and pretty much every case, actually) the story which has the most populist appeal WILL get the majority of the air time. Complex stores, such as a NK counterfeiting ring, aren't really going to grab a whole lot of eyeballs on a second go-round, while something like the OJ garbage will have people constatly checking to see if there's anything new. Ratings are FAR more critical to potential story selection than actual importance might be...

They're also counterfeiting... (Below threshold)
Clay:

They're also counterfeiting coins. I was pulling out of the parking garage at McCarren (Las Vegas) yesterday and the attendant showed us a counterfeit 'silver' dollar that had been passed to him earlier in the day. He said he's become fairly adept at spotting them, but the average joe is bound to get duped. He showed me the counterfeit and the real thing. I couldn't tell the difference.

But, I agree with #1. What the US Treasury is doing with our currency will have the same net result, only at a faster rate. Hyperinflation by this time next year...if not sooner.

ELECTRIC CHAIR or DISITIGRA... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

ELECTRIC CHAIR or DISITIGRATION BOOTH WHICH WOULD YOU PREFER?




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