Louis B. Colavecchio (January 1, 1942 – July 6, 2020) was an American casino counterfeiter known as "The Coin". While residing in Rhode Island, Colavecchio defrauded several Atlantic City and Connecticut casinos until his arrest and initial conviction in 1998. He had led a gang which fabricated numerous slot machine coins using hardened steel dies of the originals, and was revealed when casinos began to notice a surplus of coins on their gaming floors. Sentenced to seven years, Colavecchio was released in 2006. He was arrested by the FBI only a few months later after having resumed his activities, and released on a $25,000 surety bond. His counterfeiting equipment was auctioned off on eBay following his arrest, and crimes were the subject of a documentary series Breaking Vegas from The History Channel, where he was portrayed by Angelo Fierro. Due to the initial success of his crime, casinos have slowly phased out tokens, replacing them with paper vouchers. Today slot machines will dispense a paper voucher when a play cashes out. The vouchers are then redeemed for cash at kiosks located next to the cashier.
Colavecchio collaborated with Andy Thibault, a private investigator and city editor for the Republican-American newspaper in Waterbury, Conn., and Franz Douskey, a professor at Gateway Community College, to write a memoir, “You Thought It Was More – Adventures of the World’s Greatest Counterfeiter, Louis The Coin.” It was published by IceBox Publishing LLC in 2015.
In August 2019, Colavecchio was sentenced to fifteen months in federal prison after pleading guilty to manufacturing counterfeit one hundred dollar bills. Colavecchio was housed at a federal prison in Butner, N.C. His legal team and family believed he could be transferred to a prison hospital in Massachusetts and ultimately a halfway house in Rhode Island.
- "Louis Colavecchio". Casino Control Commission. State of New Jersey. Retrieved November 18, 2009.
- "Louis "The Coin" Colavecchio's counterfeiting equipment is auctioned off". Counterfeit Coin Newsletter. pp. No. 11. Retrieved November 18, 2009.
- "You Thought It Was More: Adventures of the World's Greatest Counterfeiter, Louis the Coin Paperback – January 12, 2015". www.amazon.com. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
- Mulvaney, Katie (August 21, 2019). "77-year-old 'world's greatest counterfeiter' is heading back to prison". Providence Journal. Retrieved December 7, 2019.
- "Detective Who Arrested Louis The Coin And Journalist Who Co-Authored Coin's Memoir To Present at Morris Public Library, Oct. 6, 2020, at 6:30 pm". morrispubliclibrary.net. Retrieved February 23, 2020.