In what may be the largest seizure of counterfeit money in U.S. history, federal agents announced Monday they had confiscated more than $20 million in bogus $100 bills and arrested a Santa Ana man after two accomplices tried to pass some of the phony cash at a department store.
Secret Service agents arrested Julio Antonio Marmol, 41, at the home of his accomplices Friday in Costa Mesa and searched Marmol's Santa Ana home the next day, authorities said.
"This represents one of the largest counterfeit seizures in the history of the U.S. Secret Service," said Richard Griffin, special agent in charge of the agency's Los Angeles office.
Most of the phony money--along with printing plates, photographic negatives and other items--was taken from the garage at Marmol's home in the 4200 block of West Regent Drive, Griffin said.
The lime green bills were of poor quality, printed on an offset press, authorities said. "This paper is simply the kind of paper you'd use on a Xerox machine," Griffin said.
U.S. Atty. Robert C. Bonner filed a federal criminal complaint Monday charging Marmol with two counts of possession of counterfeit currency and one count of dealing in counterfeit currency.
Marmol is being held without bail at the federal prison at Terminal Island. The two accomplices were not charged in exchange for their cooperation in the case.