Federal regulators are warning banks about a group of criminals who are using forged Colombian bank documents to defraud U.S. institutions.

The banking agencies said $967 million of forged certificates of deposit, blocked-funds confirmation letters, and other financial documents are being circulated. The documents appear to be issued by Banco del Estado, a Colombian bank, but are forgeries.

Criminals could use the official-looking papers to launder illegal money through the financial system. Generally, official bank documents are widely accepted, and raise less suspicion than cash.

Bankers with information on the scheme should contact their regulator.

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