Italian cops came out this week and grabbed these folks who had $6 trillion (with a T) of fake and bogus US treasury bonds. The Swiss and US cops were also involved in this episode.
The news folks report that it all started as an effort to get into mafia loans, and then they kind of discovered this massive treasury bond episode.
Most folks in the US won't care about this....it's just a minor story that won't even make on the CBS nightly news. So I'll take a moment to explain the significance of this, and how this works.
Karl is a up and coming Ford franchise owner in Kansas. Through various efforts over the past two years....he's put together almost $300k in illegal profits which never were reported to the IRS. Karl would like to take that money and move it around, but it's impossible via electronic means, and just messing with the cash involved....makes it risky to travel via aircraft. You can't do business like this with a bank...you know.
So Karl gets to meet some guy from New Orleans, who has twelve bank bonds, which amount to $300k. They do a swap, with Karl paying the guy $3k just to make the deal happen. Now Karl can travel easily over international borders with his bank bonds.....and the US can't say much about this. This are simply promissory notes....of no value, unless you present them to a bank.
A decade goes by, and Karl now has amassed a fortune of $3 million, and he has this interesting deal for the purchase of a Greek freighter....under the table....so he takes all his bank bonds and takes off to buy the freighter.
Somewhere around age 55, Karl now has a secret fortune of $100 million. He needs to swing a huge deal and he needs big bonds. So this mafia guy comes up and offers $100 million in treasury bonds to Karl. Fake of course, but Karl doesn't know this. Karl buys the bonds, and sits on them for four months....waiting for a huge oil deal in Russia to occur, and he would double his money secretly in two years with his presentation of the treasury bonds. But then, the experts for the Russians declare them fake, and Karl's entire fortune is lost in an instant....mostly because he was doing illegal business for years and years.....counting on the bank and treasury bonds as a way to hide his fortune.
So thank God.....those cops got into this, and helped save the rich secret millionaires from screwing up and losing their vast secret fortunes, which they never pay taxes on.