Louis Colavecchio was a successful casino token forger on a large-scale until he got busted in 1998. He served seven years in prison and then tried again.
The Louis Colavecchio Story
He was an Italian immigrant to the US. Born in 1942, He had a normal childhood and later was married with three children. All his life, he aspired to open a business and be successful. The American Dream was calling him. He was a quality toolmaker and settled on Rhode Island, New England. Having opened two shops selling tools he was on the road to success.
As a mature student he graduated with Bachelors Degree in business. With his business and fabrication skills he decided to open a jewellery business. Eventually it became profitable and he was able to enjoy a grand lifestyle, living in an exclusive neighbourhood. His life was turned upside down when armed robbers stole everything in the shop. None of the jewellery was recovered and It was not long before he was bankrupt.
Fortunately he did recover financially and he opened a second jewellery shop. The jewellery shop did not seem to get busy and people became suspicious about what was going inside the shop. At that time, the neighbours would never have guessed that he was making his money as a casino token forger.
Louis Colavecchio seemed to be absent from his shop, he was always away on so-called business trips with frequent regularity. The truth was he was turning over the casinos using forged casino tokens. The tokens did not look like forgeries so he was able to play the machines for many years without attracting suspicion. He forged tokens for many different casinos so he could spread his illegal activities and apparently he made a lot of money. Of course he did, was playing for free.
How the casino token forger got caught
Eventually the casinos became curious as to why they had such a huge surplus of $10 dollar tokens. The fake tokens were not readily detectable, they were such high quality copies. There was a buzz in the air and it was not long before the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement were called in to investigate the anomaly. Perhaps a casino token forger had been at work?
During 1998, he spent a weekend gambling with a girlfriend at casinos in Atlantic City. Casino security guards had been alerted to the situation. Not long after they had left one of the casinos police opened up the machines they had played. The forged tokens were discovered and Louis and his girlfriend were soon arrested. The police found a large stash of forged tokens in his car.
He was convicted and went to prison for seven years. When he was released during 2006 you would think he might have learned a lesson. No, three months later he was arrested again and bailed. The charges were later dropped after he offered to help the casinos in the capacity of a security advisor. Probably for free.
Louis Colavecchio became known as “The Coin” and later in 2009 he became famous in a TV documentary about his exploits. His forged tokens were of such high quality that the small differences could not be seen without using magnified vision.
Louis Colavecchio is probably the only one who knows how much money he stole. It was reported to be millions of dollars.
These days, using tokens in tokens is being phased out in favour a prepaid card. Printed winning vouchers are dispensed by the slot machine which can be redeemed for cash.
Tommy Carmichael was another successful slot machine cheat, he used mechanical devices to defeat the machines and win large jackpots.
Read more about casino scams.
Other Gambling Scams which involved criminal activity
The Roselli Brothers who conned the banks and casinos out of 37 million dollars during the 1990’s.
Bill Brennan a casino employee who apparently walked out of a casino at the end of his shift with half a million dollars in casino chips and cash.
Dennis Nikrasch a slot machine cheat who reportedly won more than 15 million dollars over time.
Monique Laurent a Roulette cheat who worked with her brother to electronically control the outcome of the spin.
Ida Summers a casino worker who learned to re-arrange the cards so that the punters won.
Richard Marcus who won hundreds of thousands of dollars by manipulating casino chips.
Ronald Dale Harris and Reid NcNeil who learned to cheat the the gaming machine software.
Tommy Carmichael who manipulated slot machines to win. He is now a reformed character an works as a slot machine security consultant.
A Blackjack card counting scam which enabled a group of students to win millions of dollars from US casinos.
A card cheating mobile phone which can scan and read a deck of cards, discovered by Google.