• seperator

March 6, 1982

 

The Susan B. Anthony dollar was one of the most unpopular coins in the history of American coinage. Fortunately, as this story from the March 6, 1982 issue of Numismatic News shows, there were some people who wanted the coins.

Coin Theft at NY Fed Bank Includes ‘Unwanted Coins’

At long last someone has been found who is willing to take Susan B. Anthony dollars off the government’s hands. To be more precise, someone has taken the dollars and now he or she is being sought.

The FBI and a federal grand jury in New York are investigating the disappearance of $50,000 worth of coins from the Federal Reserve Bank there – and most of the coins were Anthony dollars, according to a spokesman for the bank.

The spokesman said the bank discovered the loss during a routine audit and reported it to the FBI and the Bureau of the Mint late last year.

A vice president of the New York Fed, Peter Bakstansky, declines to discuss details of the probe but did say the FBI had interviewed all 16 employees of the bank’s coin handling unit. Some, he said, have been interviewed several times and a number have been subpoenaed to testify before the federal grand jury.

An FBI spokesman in New York, Joseph Valiquette, said he could not comment on the case.

The Federal Reserve Bank serves as a distribution point for new coins from the Mint and also as a clearinghouse for coins for commercial banks, receiving shipments, processing them and shipping them out as needed. While at the bank, the coins are bagged and stored in vaults on pallets.

Bakstansky said the missing coins were “mostly dollars and some quarters.” He said the losses took place in the bank and not during transport or from the facility.

The bank official couldn’t explain how such a theft could have occurred given the Fed’s tight security.

“We don’t know how the coins got out of the bank,” Bakstansky said.

Now, of course, the thief faces a perhaps even bigger challenge: How to pass all those Anthony dollars without being conspicuous.

*** 11 of the 16 employees working in the bank’s coin department were later indicted on charges relating to the thefts. Full story in the March 27, 1982 issue of NN. ***