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Thread: Stalking the Cooper River for thousands of fake nickels

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  1. #1
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    Stalking the Cooper River for thousands of fake nickels

    Police search the Cooper River for counterfeit coins after the arrest of Francis L. Henning for counterfitting thousands of nickles. Photo Courtesy of the Secret Service
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    Neil Schwartz with his metal-detecting equipment searches for so-called Henning nickels July 4 on the banks of the Cooper River in Pennypacker Park in Haddonfield, Camden County.
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    HE WAS an enigma to the authorities and a curiosity to collectors, a man who could have made bundles with his brains.
    But not all of Francis L. Henning's plans were foolproof or legal, and he fled South Jersey in 1955 with the feds on his tail, dumping buckets full of shiny evidence in local waterways. On Oct. 28 that year, Henning, looking both distinguished and defeated in a light suit, stood for a mug shot in Cleveland, where he was making $700 a month as a mechanical engineer — more than twice the national average for the era.
    Henning was a counterfeiter who strategically dreamed small, it seems, to fly under the radar of the agency he figured would be looking for fakes: the Secret Service. Henning made hundreds of thousands of fake nickels in a machine shop in rural Erial, Camden County, all by himself, using a 250,000-pound press and sheets of cupronickel that cost him thousands of dollars. Then he'd launder the money for real bills at local banks, posing as a vending-machine operator, the Associated Press reported after his arrest.




    Stalking the Cooper River for thousands of fake nickels - Philly.com
    Last edited by jeff of pa; Jul 17, 2012 at 03:53 PM.
    FCCDFEd likes this.

  2. #2
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    Fascinating story. Good luck to Neil!
    Never buy anything you have to feed or paint. ---Old Hobo Wisdom---

  3. #3
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    Was wondering if any of those nickles have been found.Exellent story jeff.

  4. #4
    th
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    Wasnt there someone on this site that claimed to be a relative of Henning, and even said he would tell where the coins were dumped? Could have been another site though.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by maipenrai View Post
    Wasnt there someone on this site that claimed to be a relative of Henning, and even said he would tell where the coins were dumped? Could have been another site though.
    it only matters where they were dumped, to know where to start looking.

    during the last 57 years, allot of heavy water has washed down the Cooper I'm sure,
    which means what was dumped one place could be scattered for miles on banks, under crevices
    & down side creeks.

    at least I wouldn't put too much stock in finding a large pile.


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    With federal agents hot on the trail, Henning dumped thousands of counterfeit nickels into the Cooper River. He was arrested in Cleveland on Oct. 27, 1955. Weeks later, police found $10,000 in counterfeit nickels and two of the six dies Henning had used to make them. They were at the bottom of the river.

    http://www.numismaster.com/ta/numis/...rticleId=18883
    Last edited by jeff of pa; Jul 20, 2012 at 11:20 AM.

  6. #6

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    Anyone finding them be aware. The government could confiscate them and you could find yourself in legal troubles.

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    I think that the man wasted his time and money by making fake nickels. Hope that he land in jail.

  9. #9
    th
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    Yes Danny, I think he should be in jail too, but they would have to bring him back to life first!

  10. #10
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    Never heard anything as crazy as counterfeiting nickels!! It prob cost him more in materials and time etc to make the coins than they were worth ?? Great story.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by maipenrai View Post
    Yes Danny, I think he should be in jail too, but they would have to bring him back to life first!
    I didn't know you were allowed to have two accounts on this board. Connecticut Sam and Connecticut Danny must be brothers

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0121stockpicker View Post
    Never heard anything as crazy as counterfeiting nickels!! It prob cost him more in materials and time etc to make the coins than they were worth ?? Great story.
    If you look in news archives you will see dozens of stories dating back to when we first started minting them. The materials were easy to obtain and cheap. Any higher denomination would have been an imitation silver coin and would be easier to spot. If it cost him 3 cents for each one and he made 300K, that would have been $6000 profit. That was close to a year salary in 1954.

 

 

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