Notorious Counterfeiter Gets Compassionate Release Amid Pandemic

Secret Service agents raided Louis Colavecchio's Pawtucket, Rhode Island, home in December 2018 and seized money presses and about 2,400 fake $100 bills

New Jersey Attorney General's Office

A Rhode Island man who calls himself the "world's greatest counterfeiter" has been granted compassionate release from prison, where he was serving a 15-month sentence for producing fake $100 bills.

A federal judge in Providence on Wednesday reduced Louis Colavecchio's sentence to time served, but said he must remain in custody until an appropriate release plan is in place.

Colavecchio, 78, petitioned for early release in February, citing several medical issues that made him susceptible to COVID-19, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and hypertension. Colavecchio, known as Louis the Coin, was also recently diagnosed with dementia, according to court records.

U.S. Secret Service agents raided Colavecchio's Pawtucket home in December 2018 and seized money presses and about 2,400 fake $100 bills, according to records. He pleaded guilty in March 2019 to manufacturing and possessing counterfeit currency and was sentenced in August.

He is serving that sentence at FMC-Butner in North Carolina and was scheduled for release Oct. 4.

Colavecchio for years frustrated casinos with counterfeit slot machine tokens. He was arrested at Caesars Atlantic City in 1996 with 800 pounds (360 kilograms) of fake tokens. His 2015 autobiography, "You Thought it was More; Adventures of the World's Greatest Counterfeiter," details his life.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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