Bob Leuver writes:
In your latest issue of E-Sylum you asked about the derivation of the title "Mr. 880."
I have two sources with the identical conclusion.
I was told this story back in the early '80 by an Assistant Director of the Secret Service. Also, the original articles from the New York Times also indicates the same derivation of the title.
The New York office of the Secret Service began filing the counterfeits in question in a file labeled "880." Hence the name of the suspect, Mr. 880. No one would ever suspect a woman to be a counterfeiter.
"Nevertheless, a fake is a fake, so the Secret Service dutifully opened a file, No. 880, put a New York City map on the office wall and, with a red thumbtack, marked the spot where the bill was passed."
Thanks! This is an interesting story, and I'll keep an eye out for the old film.
Ken Hallenbeck adds:
A few years ago the American Numismatic Association summer seminar had a man from the Secret Service named Mark Surrency, if I recall correctly, who came out to take a class on paper money. He was the Service's expert on counterfeit currency. Kind of a neat thing to have a currency expert named Surrency. Anyhow, I sat next to him in class and we got acquainted. He then was talked into teaching a class on counterfeit currency the following year. I asked him to bring the famous 880 one dollar bill the next year, which he did. It was interesting seeing the actual note. I had seen the mister 880 movie some time before that. Mark was around for 3 or 4 years numismatically. I heard later that he had gone to another part of government.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
FINDING 'MR. 880': THE CASE OF THE ONE-DOLLAR COUNTERFEITER
Wayne Homren, Editor
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