In the late 90’s, law enforcements from various states, FBI’s, and Secret Services raided the home of Louis Colavecchio. Not only at his house, but also at his orthotics business, where they could find thousands of manufactured slot tokens from many casinos in North America.
It All Started When…
What set Colavecchio aside from other counterfeiters is that he was able to duplicate anything made out from metal or stones. The slot machine coins that were found in his home were not just forged, they were exactly identical to the original pieces. Essentially, they were exactly the same thing.
To successfully pull this off, Colavecchio needed specialised equipment. He needed things like different metals, such as: copper, zinc, and nickel. He also needed laser cutting tools to cut, shape, create dies, and to stamp them out. In order to stamp out the coins, he needed a 150 ton press from Italy.
Colavecchio was great at copying these pieces. When the coins were bought by casino officials, security experts were not convinced that they were forged. He was also able to wipe out casinos in Las Vegas before law enforcement had any tracks of his crimes. Because Colavecchio was cashing in big sums of coins, they became suspicious of his activity.
How Long Did It Take?
It took only two weeks to figure out how much “The Coin” stole from the casinos he made coins for. It was hard to get an exact amount since casinos in Las Vegas refused to acknowledge that they had been cheated. There was an estimated amount of £75,000-£375,000 gathered, and no intentions that he dared to slow down. To gather up the loot, law enforcement had to rent two warehouses to store it.
A deal was then made between the government and Colavecchio. He showed them how his operation was run in order to prevent activities like this in the future.