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Notorious Counterfeiting Operations Throughout History 
30th-Apr-2012 06:13 pm
MoneyEye






Notorious Counterfeiting Operations Throughout History





Notorious Counterfeiting Operations Throughout History


After my last post which referenced the Numismatic Crime Center and Targeting Numismatic Crime. I thought I'd take a look at some of most notorious counterfeiting operations.

Alves dos Reis – 1920s

Alves dos Reis – 1920s
Artur Virgílio Alves Reis (Lisbon, 3 September 1898 - 6 June 1955) was a Portuguese criminal who perpetrated one of the largest frauds in history, against Banco de Portugal in 1925, often called the Portuguese Bank Note Crisis.

Edward Mueller – 1930s and 1940s

Edward Mueller – 1930s and 1940s

The counterfeiter Emerich Juettner, also known as Edward Mueller, who lived near Broadway and West 96th Street in Manhattan, eluded authorities from 1938 to 1948, longer than any other moneymaker in American history. Continue reading Here


Theatrical trailer for MISTER 880, 20th Century Fox, 1950.
Mister 880 is a 1950 film directed by Edmund Goulding and starring Burt Lancaster, Dorothy McGuire, Edmund Gwenn, and Millard Mitchell. It was based on an article by St. Clair McKelway that was first published in The New Yorker and later collected in McKelway's book True Tales from the Annals of Crime & Rascality. The article described the case of Edward Mueller, an elderly man who counterfeited a small number of one dollar bills and who eluded the United States Secret Service for ten years. In the movie, the protagonist was named 'Skipper' Miller. However, Edward Mueller was merely an alias name. The man's real name was Emerich Juettner. The NY Sun article linked to below provides a brief life story of Juettner and his exploits.

Noteworthy of mention, as told in the NY Sun article, Juettner made more money off the release of this film than he'd made in his entire counterfeiting career
NY Sun

Bernhard Krüger – 1940s

Bernhard Krüger 26 November 1904–1989) was a Schutzstaffel (SS) Sturmbannführer (Major) during World War II, the leader of the VI F 4a Unit in the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Reich Main Security Office) or RSHA.

This SD unit was responsible for, among other things, falsifying passports and documents. Within the setting of Operation Bernhard, the SD forged pound notes in great numbers, funding Nazi Germany with ₤600 million in high-quality counterfeit currency (worth approx. $6 billion 2009). This counterfeiting operation was named for Krüger, who led the operation from a segregated factory built at Sachsenhausen concentration camp, manned by 142 Jewish inmates. Krüger was a member of the NSDAP.

The pound counterfeiting operation ended in 1944. Not wanting to go to the Eastern Front, and mindful of the fate of the concentration camp prisoners in his employ if his factory were closed, Krüger succeeding in establishing a new operation to forge American dollar notes. Instructing his workers to work as slowly as possible[citation needed], he managed to stall the operation until the war ended, permitting the prisoners to be liberated after they were transferred to camps in Austria in May 1945.

After the war, Major Krüger was detained by the British for two years, then turned over to the French for a year. He said they asked him to forge documents but that he refused. He was released in 1948 without any charges being pressed, and returned to Germany. He eventually worked for the company that had produced the special paper for the Operation Bernhard forgeries. He died in 1989.
Read more on Wikipedia

Mike DeBardeleben – 1980s

James Mitchell "Mike" DeBardeleben (March 20, 1940 - January 26, 2011) was a convicted rapist and counterfeiter who became known as the "mall passer" due to his practice of passing counterfeit bills in shopping malls across the country. After his arrest for counterfeiting, he was found to have committed much more serious sex crimes. Although he was never brought to trial for murder, he was the principal suspect in two homicides and he remains a suspect in several others. He died of pneumonia at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina in early 2011 Read more on Wikipedia

Stephen Jory – 1990s


The television Masterminds featured Stephen Jory in an episode of their show. I pulled it from the archives and reposted it here.

Masterminds 2.13 Making Millions Steven Jory was the most successful counterfeiter England had ever seen. Starting in the late nineties, he flooded the British market with fifty million pounds.

Arthur Williams – 1990s and 2000s


Arthur "Art" Williams is an American-born counterfeiter and subject of the book, The Art of Making Money by Jason Kersten. He is most known for having counterfeited the 1996 $100 Bill. He now resides at the Federal Correctional Institution in Big Spring, Texas. His story was featured on NPR's The Diane Rehm Show on June 15, 2009.

Paramount Pictures is in negotiations with director D.J. Caruso (Eagle Eye, Disturbia) and actor Chris Pine (Star Trek) to make The Art of Making Money early next year, says Variety.
Brian Robbins is producing with Sharla Sumpter and Brad Weston. Frank Baldwin wrote the script. Pine would play Art Williams, the alias for a Chicago man who rose from petty theft to become a master counterfeiter.

Paramount acquired the project based on a 2005 Rolling Stone article by Jason Kersten, who turned his reporting into the book "The Art of Making Money: The Story of a Master Counterfeiter." Source:Variety October 12, 2009.

The almighty dollar is designed to be uncrackable. From the distinctive feel of the greenback's cotton-and-linen-blended paper to its watermarks and color-shifting ink, the Treasury Department goes to excruciating lengths to ensure no one can counterfeit the world's most powerful currency. But the U.S. Treasury Department was no match for Art Williams, one of the most inventive and prolific counterfeiters of recent decades.

There is an interesting Q & A on Time’s website with the author of The Art Of Making Money. Read The Art of Counterfeiting Money


Wesley Weber – 1990s and 2000s

The television Masterminds featured Stephen Jory in an episode of their show. I pulled it from the archives and reposted it here.

Masterminds 3.18 Money Maker
Wesley Weber was a Canadian who succeeded in counterfeiting the Canadian hundred-dollar bill. Because of this, many stores stopped accepting $100 dollar bills until the note was redesigned. According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, they are the highest quality computer produced counterfeits of Canadian currency to date.

Anatasios Arnaouti – 2000s

Anatasios Arnaouti (born July 21, 1967) is a criminal from Manchester, England who led one of the most ambitious ever forgery operations before being jailed in 2005.

At the time of the arrest of Arnaouti and his accomplices, police seized over £2.5million worth of counterfeit £10 notes and $3.5 million worth of counterfeit $100 notes, but the total number of notes produced is unknown as their printing operation had been in production for several years, and was capable of producing tens of thousands of notes each day. The extent of the crime was considered so severe that it could have compromised the UK and U.S. economies.

In Operation Gait, the UK National Crime Squad working jointly with the US Secret Service infiltrated and uncovered the operation in December 2002. Simultaneously a BBC undercover documentary team also infiltrated the operation and secretly filmed the printing presses in operation, providing information on the gangs' distribution methods which the police had not uncovered. Although the notes produced by the gang were not perfect, the gangs' principal difficulty was not in producing the notes but in getting them into circulation, leading the gang into carelessness in finding people to buy the counterfeits, which is how the BBC found the gang.

On June 14, 2005, Arnaouti was sentenced to 8 years in prison for conspiracy to make counterfeit currency, conspiracy to pass counterfeit currency and conspiracy to handle stolen goods.

Source(s)And other interesting reads: Wikipedia
Counterfeit money gang is jailed
Gang members jailed in fake cash scam

Albert Talton – 2000s

In January 2005, the Secret Service field office in Los Angeles discovered a fake $100 bill of remarkably high quality. In the Specimen Vault four years later, Kelley Harris, supervisory counterfeit specialist of the Criminal Investigative Division, hands me a Ziploc bag containing 14 bills, which appear genuine. "Not bad," Harris concedes.

Despite the best efforts of the Secret Service, the printer behind these notes evaded capture for more than three years. By then, Albert Edward Talton, of Lawndale, California, was responsible for putting more than $7 million in phony currency into circulation. And he'd made much of it using supplies purchased from his local Staples.

Albert Talton, 44, is charming and soft-spoken, a big, fastidious man with a taste for expensive cars and high-end audio equipment. Born and raised in Southern California, he has been a criminal for most of his life. For 10 years he was in and out of jail, and in 2001 he was convicted of bank fraud and sentenced to five years in prison.
Continue Reading On Details Magazine

Side Note The television show American Greed devoted an episode Albert Talton entitles Funny Money


Albert Talton is running a counterfeiting operation and circulates more than $7 million in phony cash around the globe

Counterfeiting Money Has Been Done For Centuries


Counterfeiters throughout the centuries. Both in the United States, and England, counterfeiting was once punishable by death. Paper currency printed by Benjamin Franklin often bore the phrase "To Counterfeit Is Death." Let's take a look at some of the lives that were changed forever for the love of money....

Thomas Rogers and Anne Rogers were English counterfeiters convicted on 15 October 1690, for "Clipping 40 pieces of Silver" (in other words, clipping the edges off silver coins). Thomas Rogers was hanged, drawn and quartered, and Anne Rogers was burnt alive. The gruesome forms of punishment were meted out due to their acts being High Treason.

Peter Alston, was the late 18th Century and early 19th Century counterfeiter and river pirate, who is believed to be Little Harpe's associate and partner in the murder of notorious outlaw leader Samuel Mason in 1803

Philip Alston was an 18th century counterfeiter both before and after the American Revolution in Virginia and the Carolinas before the war, and later in Kentucky and Illinois afterwards.

Abel Buell American colonialist and republican who went from altering five-pound note engraving plates to publishing the first map of the new United States created by an American.

Mary Butterworth a counterfeiter in colonial America.

William Chaloner a British counterfeiter convicted by Sir Isaac Newton and hanged on 16 March 1699.

John Duff, was a counterfeiter, hunter, and scout who assisted in George Rogers Clark's campaign to capture the Illinois country for the American side during the Revolutionary War

Klipping V, the king of Denmark (1259–1286). The king’s nickname refers to ”clipping” of the coin.

David Farnsworth. a counterfeiter in colonial America. He was hung for his crimes after George Washington had taken a personal interest in his case.

King David Hartley, was the leader of the Cragg Vale Coiners of rural 18th century England. Producing fake gold coins, he was eventually captured and hanged at Tyburn near York on April 28, 1770 and buried in the village of Heptonstall, W Yorks. His brother, Isaac, escaped the authorities and lived until 1815.

Catherine Murphy was convicted of coining in 1789 and was the last woman to suffer execution by burning in England.

John A. Murrell a near-legendary bandit operating in the United States along the Mississippi River in the mid-nineteenth century. Convicted for his crimes in the Circuit Court of Madison County, Tennessee, Murrell was incarcerated in the Tennessee State Penitentiary, modeled after the Auburn penal system, from 1834 to 1844.

Philip the Fair of France (1268–1314) caused riots and was known as "the counterfeiter king" for emitting coinage that was debased compared to the standards that had been prevalent during the half century previous to his reign.

Isaiah L. Potts (1784?-?) (United States), aliases used were William Potts, Billy or Billie Potts, Sr., was an Illinois tavern owner who, allegedly, ran a gang of highwaymen and murderers, along a frontier highway near Cave-In-Rock and was an associate of James Ford.[18]

Sturdivant Gang A multi-generational group of American counterfeiters whose criminal activities took place over a 50 year period from Colonial Connecticut to the Illinois frontier.

Samuel C. Upham - the first known counterfeiter of Confederate money during the American Civil War. His activities began or became known in early July 1862.

For The Love Of The Art


Banksy is a pseudonymous England-based graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter.

Banksy's first film, Exit Through the Gift Shop, billed as "the world's first street art disaster movie," made its debut at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.[12] The film was released in the UK on 5 March 2010.[13] In January 2011, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary for the film.

£10 notes to Barely Legal (2004–06)
In August 2004, Banksy produced a quantity of spoof British £10 notes substituting the picture of the Queen's head with Diana, Princess of Wales's head and changing the text "Bank of England" to "Banksy of England." Someone threw a large wad of these into a crowd at Notting Hill Carnival that year, which some recipients then tried to spend in local shops. These notes were also given with invitations to a Santa's Ghetto exhibition by Pictures on Walls. The individual notes have since been selling on eBay for about £200 each. A wad of the notes were also thrown over a fence and into the crowd near the NME signing tent at The Reading Festival. A limited run of 50 signed posters containing ten uncut notes were also produced and sold by Pictures on Walls for £100 each to commemorate the death of Princess Diana. One of these sold in October 2007 at Bonhams auction house in London for £24,000.


U.S. currency, anti-counterfeiting milestones


Watch The Money Factory

Explore the US Treasury's impenetrable subterranean vaults housing monster money-making machines that churn out billions of dollars. See the army of protectors that ensure the world's most powerful economy with the mantra: "In God We Trust". Discover the elaborate systems of design and protection at the US Treasury premier currency manufacturer and her sister operation, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

For U.S. currency, anti-counterfeiting milestones are as follows:
1996 $100 bill gets a new design with a larger portrait
1997 $50 bill gets a new design with a larger portrait
1998 $20 bill gets a new design with a larger portrait
2000 $10 bill and $5 bill get a new design with a larger portrait
2003 $20 bill gets a new design with no oval around Andrew Jackson's portrait and more colors
2004 $50 bill gets a new design with no oval around Ulysses S. Grant's portrait and more colors
2006 $10 bill gets a new design with no oval around Alexander Hamilton's portrait and more colors
2008 $5 bill gets a new design with no oval around Abraham Lincoln's portrait and more colors
2010 $100 bill gets a new design with no oval around Benjamin Franklin's portrait and more colors
New $100 bill debut is postponed


The Series 2009 $100 bill redesign was unveiled on April 21, 2010, and was to be issued to the public in February 11, 2011 but production was shut down in December 2010 because as many as 30% were unusable due to a manufacturing flaw. A vertical crease in the paper reveals a blank space on the bill when pulled out. New release date will be late 2011 SourceWikiPedia

The redesigned $100 bill was unveiled on April 21, 2010, and the Federal Reserve Board was to begin issuing the new bill on February 10, 2011, but the release has been delayed indefinitely as a result of printing defects.

The Federal Reserve said that a new issue date for the re-designed bills will be announced at a later date
SourceCNN News

Introduction to the New $100 Note

Introduction to the New $100 Note part 1



Check out the FAQ Frequently Asked Questions portion of the New Money web site for more information, videos and educational materials available.

How to Detect A Counterfeit

How to Detect A Counterfeit Part 2


The Art of Banknote Design

The Art of Banknote Design Podcast Part 3


Progress Update July 2011
: The New $100 Note

Progress Update: The New $100 Note


Pawn Stars: How to Spot a Fake $100 bill

Pawn Stars: How to Spot a Fake $100 bill
Mondays at 10/9C on History — Fake $100s can be a problem for any business, but are especially a problem for pawn shops.


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