The five most famous counterfeiters

counterfeiters Counterfeiters, counterfeiting money.
Counterfeiters, counterfeiting money.

The five most famous counterfeiters

Counterfeiting money is a criminal craft that is as old as the world. Archaeologists have found ancient counterfeit coins made in the 6th century BC. NS.! Most of the counterfeiters have suffered and continue to bear the punishment they deserve according to the laws of their time but there were also those who became famous and went down in history. We have compiled the biographies of five of the most famous of them.

Mary Boykin Chesnut
Mary Boykin Chesnut

Mary Butterworth the woman who made banknotes in the kitchen

When we read the word counterfeiter, we tend to imagine a male criminal. Money, however, was also counterfeited by the fair sex for example, Mary Butterworth, who lived in the 18th century in the English province of Rhode Island. She was an energetic woman and sought to provide for seven children, but she did not always have enough funds for this. Mary managed to establish the manufacture of fakes in her own kitchen, and without the use of clichés. She wetted and transferred the 5 bills using a regular iron, then finished painting with finely sharpened goose feathers. Mary and her family members whom she attracted to her craft sold fakes for half the face value.

Soon, the authorities noticed forgeries and began looking for criminals more precisely, a cliché with which it would be possible to make fakes. The police could not even imagine that the evidence was ordinary goose feathers and an iron! This allowed the criminal company “Mary Butterworth Co” to work successfully for about eight years and only then the firm was inadvertently “handed over” by one of the buyers of counterfeits, who wanted to pay them off. The police arrested the Butterworth family but soon released everyone, since they did not find a cliché. Mary secured herself a comfortable old age and lived to be 89 years old, no longer returning to the criminal craft.

counterfeiters Omega man sign.
Omega man sign.

Omega Man is a counterfeiter labeling his coins

At first glance, it may seem that counterfeiting coins is unprofitable but when it comes to rare and valuable specimens, counterfeiting can make a criminal rich. This is what happened to the Omega Man a person who received this nickname from the microscopic stigma that he put on counterfeit coins. The Omega Man uses as the basis of the famous and very valuable “Double Eagle” St. Gaudens a 20-dollar gold coin, which was discontinued in 1933 by order of Roosevelt. The omega symbol, which the author puts on his creations, cannot be discerned without a microscope and without it, no expert can distinguish a fake “Double Eagle” from a real one. The result is atypical for the underworld many collectors willingly buy Omega Man coins, laying out considerable sums for them.

Edward Müller the retiree who drew dollars

This counterfeiter, unlike the Omega Man, was punished, albeit not very severe he went to jail for 1 year and 1 day and paid a 1 fine. Pensioner Edward Muller drew banknotes, and used fairly simple equipment. His fakes were far from ideal the US Secret Service dubbed them “cute fakes.” However, this did not prevent Mueller’s counterfeit banknotes from getting into the collections of many collectors connoisseurs of rarities refused to exchange them for real money, preferring to keep them.

Edward Mueller was engaged in the criminal craft for a record long time in the history of the United States 10 years, until the moment when the authorities in 1948 seized him. After leaving prison, he received an offer from the XX Century Fox film studio, which bought the rights to film his story from the old man for a substantial sum and provided Mueller with a comfortable old age.

JSJ Boggs.
JSJ Boggs.
JS G. Boggs the artist who painted money

In 1982, the artist J.S.G. Boggs was sitting in a cafe and thoughtfully drawing a one dollar bill on a napkin. The waitress, not noticing the catch, took it as payment for coffee the napkin turned out to be so similar to a real bill. Boggs became thoughtful and turned his hobby into a criminal craft he created reproductions of US dollars and successfully paid with them, traveling the world. The authorities of several countries accused him of counterfeiting, but could not bring the case to court Boggs never claimed that his “money” was genuine, and from the point of view of the law he remained only an artist.

Victor Barannikov is a counterfeiter.
Victor Barannikov is a counterfeiter.
Viktor Baranov a famous counterfeiter of the Soviet Union

Mid XX century, Soviet Union, Stavropol region. Young Viktor Baranov, after graduating from a construction school and serving in the army, offers his inventions to the heads of enterprises. Nobody aspired to improve technological processes during the planned economy, and Baranov’s talents remained unclaimed.

He decided to apply them differently to try to forge Soviet banknotes so that the forgeries were indistinguishable from the originals. Theoretical training in the Moscow “Leninka”, equipping the barn with the necessary equipment and the process started. The 50-ruble bills, which Baranov began to print, not only were not inferior in quality to those of Goznak they were superior to them in terms of quality.

The experiment with the forgery of 25 rubles turned out to be just as successful. Baranov was detained only in 1977. He did not hide anything he showed the investigators his equipment, told what technologies he used. The experts were amazed from a technical point of view, Baranov’s achievements were only within the power of a team of specialists, but the adamant fact was that he worked alone. One of the inventions of the most famous counterfeiter of the Soviet Union was introduced at Goznak, his recommendations for improving the quality of banknotes were considered by the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs and he himself went to Butyrka, where he spent 12 years in prison.

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