(Reuters) - A Lebanese man has been charged in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, with a leadership role in a scheme to distribute counterfeit U.S. currency, the Justice Department said on Tuesday.

Louay Ibrahim Hussein was arrested in Malaysia in 2014 and extradited to the United States last week. He made his first U.S. court appearance on Friday, the department said in a statement.

Hussein told undercover agents he had access to as much as $800 million in counterfeit U.S. currency for sale to clients based in Iran and elsewhere, the statement said.

(Reporting by Eric Walsh in Washington; Editing by Eric Beech)