Louis “The Coin”– The Book

Louis Colavecchio, 1942-2020: “You Thought It Was More”

Louis the Coin-the Book

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“You Thought It Was More” is a profane and raucously funny memoir from the world’s greatest counterfeiter, Louis ‘The Coin’ Colavecchio. Colavecchio, who created mass quantities of undetectable slot machine tokens, writes with commanding vigor about his wild adventures throughout the US and Europe. His talents as a jeweler, manufacturer and man of romance are part of the historical record – as seen on The History Channel and The BBC. It might be an understatement to say Colavecchio changed the face of casino gambling forever.

Ride with Louis The Coin at 160 mph in his Lamborghini making score after score. From Providence to Atlantic City and Vegas to Rome, Milan, Florence, Geneva, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, he’s the genuine article. As one of the cops who arrested Louis notes in the introduction, “He was very creative, an artist.” Who knew metallurgy could be riveting? What? You thought it was more …

Excerpts from Prosecutor's Sentencing Memo...

The Early Years
According to COLAVECCHIO, his criminal escapades started in his teen years. Over the course of time, he enjoyed the tutelage mobster and businessman, Vincent Miele (who he referred to as Vinny or his Uncle Vinny) and the New England Crime Boss, Raymond Patriarca (The Boss, The Old Man, or George). They were men that COLAVECCHIO idolized. (p. 16). He shared the presence of mobsters and hitmen throughout the account of his entire life. A young mind shaped by such powerful and influential role models holds that shape well beyond the average criminal. He wrote, “I was so fascinated by the wise guy lifestyle, I’m sure I would have wound up in that scene.” (p. 18). As a man in his 70’s he still admires the lifestyle. He romanticized his role as a wise guy throughout 21 chapters and an epilogue.

The First Counterfeiting Crime

In a chapter that COLAVECCHIO entitled, The Counterfeit King, he recounted the crime that led to his first counterfeiting conviction. (Chapter 14). In this chapter, COLAVECCHIO devoted many pages to describing in great detail the technical processes of minting coins and the obstacles he encountered in duplicating casino chips and tokens. Of course, in the retelling, ever flaunting how clever he was at the art of counterfeiting.
“As soon as possible, I began taking chips to casinos everywhere … It was a thrilling life.” (p. 271).

Prison Life

During his brief time in prison for his first counterfeiting conviction, COLAVECCHIO enjoyed prestige as a notorious criminal and powerful inmate. He met new inmates with a familiar greeting, “Hi, I’m Lou.” (p. 393). Apparently, no last name was necessary. A man nicknamed “The Sarge” a former Army Ranger and a “trained assassin” paid him homage, “Yeah, I can see you’re the boss around here.” (p. 393).

Louis "The Coin" in the News


In 2007 LOUIS the COIN was among 10 poets and writers who presented at a free speech rally at the Litchfield Inn in Connecticut. Learn more



Amicus brief, Student Press Law Center

As “douchebags” case ends, Supreme Court continues to mull off-campus speech rights

Karen Florin, New London Day:

Penny for the thoughts of counterfeiter Louis ‘The Coin’ is money well spent


Randy Beach column, New Haven Register: The life of an outlaw: Louis hasn’t been ‘fried’ yet


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