In the crime-doesn't-pay department comes this article from the Daily Mail profiles a Glasgow counterfeiter who printed millions but died penniless.
On the face of it, he ran a tiny printer’s shop, apparently producing nothing more exciting than menus for Chinese restaurants.
Behind the scenes, however, Thomas McAnea was a master forger at the centre of a major counterfeiting operation with the power to threaten Britain’s economic stability.
Nicknamed ‘Hologram Tam’, McAnea relied on just a few simple tools – a pair of spectacles, a magnifying glass and an engraving pen – to produce the detailing on fake banknotes so authentic that by the time he was caught nearly £700,000 worth were in circulation.
Yet, despite his fabled ability to conjure up dodgy currency, McAnea, whose death from lung cancer at the age of 63 was reported yesterday, could scarcely be said to have cashed in on his dubious talents.
Police sources say he appeared to have barely two pennies to rub together at his death and, in the greatest of ironies, the illness which killed him is believed to have been caused by a lifetime spent inhaling toxic printing fumes.
A family friend said: ‘Tam was a lovable rogue but one of the biggest names in crime.
‘It’s a bit ironic he got lung cancer from printing – the job where he made his name as the forgery master. There will be a big turnout at his funeral.’
McAnea, who died at his home in Glasgow on Friday, was jailed for six years and four months in 2007 after he was unmasked as the ringleader of a professional gang which had the capacity to pump out £2million worth of fake notes a day.
His tiny shop, Print Link (Scotland), at St George’s Cross, Glasgow, appeared to offer small-scale printing, mainly menus for Chinese restaurants.
Scottish Labour Justice Spokesman Graeme Pearson, who was director of the SCDEA when McAnea was caught, said the former print union official ‘had the touch of the geek about him’, but added: ‘People think it’s a bit of a wheeze, a B movie, producing banknotes in your kitchen, but in actual fact what we have is something that enables criminal gangs to profit.
‘This counterfeiting gang had the ability to destabilise the British economy.’
To read the complete article, see:
Master banknote forger who could have crippled Britain's economy dies from cancer after lifetime spent inhaling toxic printing fumes
Wayne Homren, Editor
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor
at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 1998 - 2020 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.
NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster