The U.S. Secret Service, best known for protecting the President, still focuses on its original mandate, investigating counterfeit currency crime. The Secret Service budget is approximately $1.4 Billion.
Director Mark Sullivan, testifying today before a Congressional House Appropriations hearing Chaired by Congressman Mark Price, was questioned about the current status of counterfeiting and protective detail challenges. Sullivan covered how the department has experienced significant increases in operational tempo.
- Request $14 Million for protective detail services for upcoming 2012 election cycle
- Cost of vehicles have skyrocketed (armor upgrades & radios increased 100%) since 2008
- Wants $48.6M to upgrade IT systems
- Upgrade mainframes
- Web based solutions
- 29 Special investigation task forces in operation
- Cybercrime - 1,200 agents trained in advanced finance system technologies
- Agents near sweet spot of retirement and enter the private sector
- Significant 'consumer' intelligence from various agencies
- Peru is now a significant source of counterfeiting U.S. currency, allegedly now the #1 source of counterfeit U.S. currency
- Secret Service is operating "Project Peru" - 31 arrests and $20M in seizures since 2008
- Columbia was the largest producer of fake greenbacks; it's now ranked #3
- Offset printing is not as popular as ink-jet process
- Domestic counterfeiting is dropping in production
- Counter measures are working
- High tech ink-jets continue to be a difficult problem to defeat.
- Advanced computer and printing technology makes it 'easier' to counterfeit
- $883 billion in genuine notes are in circulation
- 200th of 1 percent is counterfeit
The Bank of Canada recently announced that in 2011 Canadian currency will begin printing its notes using polymer materials instead of cotton.