Counterfeiters who minted $100 million in fake currency became paranoid that police were closing in and tossed $18 million in "first rate" bills out with the trash - unwittingly sparking the ring's undoing.

Federal agents broke the largest counterfeiting case in U.S. history when city Sanitation Department workers found the discarded bills in a garbage bin in the Bronx last July, Secret Service officials announced Tuesday.Federal agents seized $36.5 million in phony currency and said they have arrested 85 people in New York City, Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles since the summer of 1986, when the phony notes first began to surface - some as far away as Paris.