Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Louis 'The Coin' Colavecchio

Colavecchio’s enterprise was described by the Secret Service as the largest coin counterfeiting case in history.
Louis 'The Coin' Colavecchio earned his nickname for the immense number of counterfeit coins he created over the years. He was one of the first to successfully produce counterfeit coins able to deceive the software inside slot machines into thinking they were real. He was able to steal huge amounts from casinos across Atlantic City and surrounding areas without ever having to wager his own money. During the counterfeiting process, Colavecchio was meticulous about every detail that went on the coin. He was nervous the first time he went to Caesar’s Palace with this fake tokens, but they worked flawlessly.

Colavecchio was able to play the slots for hours. He made thousands of dollars a night, all of which he used to maintain his prestigious lifestyle.
Caesar’s took their annual coin inventory and noticed they had a large surplus of $10 slot machine coins. They discovered that the extra coins were counterfeits. They sent word to casinos in the area; Bally’s Park Place and Showboat Casinos checked for fake tokens and immediately found them. The security of Caesar’s Palace and all casinos in Atlantic City were on the lookout. When Colavecchio arrived the following weekend his behavior caught the attention of the guards. They watched him for hours, identifying which machines he was using.
They opened up the machines and found counterfeits.
The coin was busted. The police found 750 pounds of counterfeit coins in his car. Casinos filed charges against Colavecchio, who agreed to tell them how he had made the tokens in exchange for a lighter sentence. He was sentenced to a total of seven years in prison. The Providence Journal reported that after he spent more than two years in federal prison, he was paid $18,000 by the feds as a consultant to explain why his manufacturing dies outlasted those of the U.S. Mint. Today most casinos don’t use coins for their slot machines. Most machines are electronic and work off of a reloadable card or paper vouchers that can be transferred to cash. We can thank Louis 'The Coin' Colavecchio.

Louis Colavecchio died in 2020 at age 78.