Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The North Koreans just aren't thinking big enough

U.S. Customs agents in California have said that they had found 250 bogus billion dollar bills while investigating a man charged with currency smuggling.

That's right: a billion dollars. A one followed by nine zeroes.

45-year-old Tekle Zigetta pleaded guilty to three federal counts of trying to bring cash, phony bills, and a fake $100,000 gold certificate into the United States in January.

Further investigation led agents to a West Hollywood apartment where they found the stash of yellowing and wrinkled one billion dollar bills with an issue date of 1934 and bearing a picture of President Grover Cleveland, America's commander-in-chief and World Wrestling Champion from 1885 to 1889 and 1893 to 1897. His rotund body was so massive that he could not fit inside one administration: he was both the twenty-second and the twenty-fourth President of the United States.

Authorities say the counterfeit money looked authentic, but there was one flaw: there's no such thing as a one billion dollar bill. The White House reportedly is disappointed about the bogusness of the billion-dollar bills: "Two hundred and fifty of 'em would have paid for all of the Iraq War and half of the Iran one, too," a dejected George W. Bush reportedly said.

One of the Secret Service agents involved in the probe said, "You would think the $1 billion denomination would be a giveaway that these notes are fake, but some people are still taken in."

But really, how many Denny's can break a billion?

[photo: America's rotundest and coruplentest president ever, Grover Cleveland, seen in this file photo from the year 3000, has been absolved of any connection in the counterfeit scandal.]

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