Manage episode 289027264 series 2530089
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Sometimes you can be too good at what you do. Thomas McAnea was the best counterfeiter in Scotland, and in the end that’s why he got caught. McAnea’s criminal career started in tragedy, when his two sons died. He began to drink, got into debt and bankrupted his printing business. He couldn’t make a living, so began to do counterfeiting jobs for gangs in Glasgow. The gangs could count on the best fake banknotes from McAnea. Through his printing business, he knew how to make banknotes that looked real. His attention to detail was legendary, and he was especially good at making security holograms, earning him the nickname “Hologram Tam,” from the Scottish name for Tom. In his first run-in with the law, McAnea was raided by police in 1996. They caught him counterfeiting Scottish pound banknotes. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison. But McAnea got off on a technicality because the police, ironically, made a typo in their search warrant. But the law caught up with him again. In 2006, police discovered a pile of Bank of Scotland £20 (¥2,800) banknotes, all without a hologram. The police realized that the notes were waiting to have holograms added — and who else could do that except Hologram Tam? McAnea’s sterling reputation would be his downfall. (T) To be continued… This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.