Alaskan man pleads guilty to stealing $500,000 of antique banknotes



2015-06-26 12:29:46

Alaskan man pleads guilty to stealing $500,000 of antique banknotes

A locksmith is in the dock after apparently trying to sell on collectible currency which was not his

Antique banknotes, including early American ones, can be a very valuable asset, but that doesn't necessarily make them a good choice as the object of theft.

An Alaskan locksmith, who was paid to break into the deposit box of a deceased banker has entered a guilty plea to the charge of stealing collectible currency from within.

The banker was William Stroecker, and the locksmith Forrest Holton broke into the box in November 2010 on the instruction of his family. However, they were not expecting Holton to remove anything from the box himself.

But it seems he did, retaining a red envelope containing antique currency worth $250,000-500,000. The theft went unreported at the time, and it was only when some of the notes had been sold that viewers of an online auctioneer's website starting reporting that they recognised them.

Jefferson county 1902 antique banknote currency Jefferson county 1902 antique banknote currency

Whilst kidnappers and the like might worry about having their notes marked, banknotes of this rarity may be sufficiently few in number that they could not have had many sources - and with serial numbers be absolutely unique.

It is alleged and estimated that Holton had sold around $82,000-worth of banknotes by the time he was arrested.

To most outside the collecting arena, it may be known that the market is strong for rare coins, but not that many are chasing paper money too.

Earlier this year, a Bank of Honan Province, Qing Dynasty $1 banknote (from 1908) broke a world record when it sold for an extraordinary HK$2.4m (US$300,000) at Spink.

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