E-Sylum reader Josh Tatum forwarded this Providence, RI article about a police auction which includes coin-making equipment used by a notorious counterfeiter. The coin-making machinery is appraised at about $25,000, but the dies allegedly used to stamp the "coins" (slot machine tokens, actually) have been destroyed. -EditorThey called him .The Coin. because Louis B. Colavecchio was good at making near-perfect counterfeit tokens for slot machines at casinos from Foxwoods to Vegas.
So good, that he spent more than two years in federal prison in 1998 for his handiwork and was paid $18,000 by the feds as a consultant to explain why his manufacturing dies outlast those at the U.S. Mint.
So good, that he was the featured .Counterfeit King. in a History Channel documentary on Breaking Vegas and made his own video, How to Win at Slots, after advising casinos how to detect fake tokens.
So good, that in November 2006, when investigators from three states and two federal agencies began investigating high-quality counterfeit tokens showing up in casinos up and down the East Coast, they ended up on Colavecchio.s doorstep in Pawtucket once again.
Now, the coin-making machinery, the blank metal strips and blank coins seized from Colavecchio.s property two years ago are going up for auction tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. at S.J. Corio Co., in Warwick. Colavecchio, who has been out on $25,000 bail with surety, requiring 10 percent of the amount in cash, or the full amount in property, since his arrest in 2006, noticed his equipment listed in a newspaper advertisement for the auction.
.I might go,. Colavecchio, 66, said about tomorrow.s auction. .I could tell [potential buyers] a lot of stuff. They may know how it works, but it.s been, let me say, .modified. . so some things are not exactly as they seem..
Sal Corio Sr., president of the auction house, said that the company has been getting calls about some of the machinery, which includes a blanking tool that cuts the coins. shapes, and an EDM machine that burns the image onto the metal, a Mario Dimaio coining press, a roller mill machine, an electric plating machine, the strip stock metal used to make coins, and a coin comparator device, made for the gaming industry, used to validate coins for slot machines.
The state police believed that Colavecchio was making tokens for slot machines at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, the Trump Marina Casino and Trump Plaza Casino in New Jersey, Harrah.s casino in Las Vegas, among others.
Despite the ban, Colavecchio had continued gambling at casinos .. wearing wigs and dressing as a woman to avoid being recognized, O.Donnell said.
.He.s a crafty criminal and that.s what he does. He makes no bones about it,. O.Donnell said.
To read the complete article, see: Counterfeit coin-making machinery up for bid tomorrow at police auction (http://www.projo.com/news/courts/content/
Wayne Homren, Editor
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