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Inactive Financial Institution Letters 

Special Alert

August 26, 1999

SUBJECT: Fictitious "Sight Drafts" Payable Through the U. S. Treasury

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has alerted us to the circulation of worthless instruments titled "Sight Draft." A copy of one such instrument is attached for your information. They are being presented for payment at banks and other businesses throughout the United States. The instruments have no financial value and no legal validity.

The instruments also have the following other characteristics: (1) They state they are payable through the U. S. Treasury, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20220. (2) Printed across the top border is a statement that "THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND & MICROPRINTING. THE REVERSE SIDE OF THIS DOCUMENT HAS AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK." (3) The numbers encoded in the MICR style print along the bottom edge are not valid ABA routing numbers, nor another recognizable type of number used in the financial community to process or identify such items. (4) The person signing the documents is not authorized by the U. S. Treasury to issue such documents.

Any of these instruments that are presented for payment should be returned to the senders and copies should be provided to the appropriate law enforcement agencies. If one of these instruments is presented to your institution for payment, or if you have any information concerning this matter, you should immediately bring it to the attention of your local office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. You also should prepare a Suspicious Activity Report in accordance with the instructions found in Part 353 of FDIC's Rules and Regulations. Information concerning this matter also may be forwarded to the FDIC's Special Activities Section, 550 17th Street, NW, Room F-6012, Washington, DC 20429. For your reference, all FDIC Financial Institution Letters published since January of 1995 may be found on the FDIC's Web site at

James L. Sexton


Attachment: (not available electronically)

Distribution: FDIC-Supervised Banks (Commercial and Savings)

NOTE: Paper copies of FDIC financial institutions letters may be obtained through the FDIC's Public Information Center, 801 17th Street, NW, Room 100, Washington, DC 20434 (800-276-6003 or (703) 562-2200).

Last Updated 08/26/1999

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