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Would this be legal?


Alpo

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Not interested in whether it would work or not - just the legality.

 

I had a DREAM.

 

In the dream this guy was making a movie and printing it on two-dollar bills. When the show started it would be a long shot of a greenish rectangle, them zoom in until you recognize that it is money. And in the middle of the bill, covering the portrait and serial numbers, is each frame of the flick.

 

And I woke up wondering if that would be legal.

 

Isn't there a law about mutilating money?

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Read the law about mutilating money carefully. The law is concerned with passing it off and something it is not. For example when coins were made of silver or gold, shaving off some of the precious metal. Like removing 5% of a $20 gold coin and using your $19 coin as a 20. Bleaching a $1 and printing it as a 20 and using that.

 

Simply making a holster decoration out of a silver or gold coin is not a problem.

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Alpo:

 

Marshal Mo Hare has it right. See 18 USC Sec. 331:

 

"Whoever fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates, impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens any of the coins coined at the mints of the United States, or any foreign coins which are by law made current or are in actual use or circulation as money within the United States; or

Whoever fraudulently possesses, passes, utters, publishes, or sells, or attempts to pass, utter, publish, or sell, or brings into the United States, any such coin, knowing the same to be altered, defaced, mutilated, impaired, diminished, falsified, scaled, or lightened—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both."

 

The crime requires a specific fraudulent intent, either in mutilating or passing defaced currency or coins. Basically, if you don't do it to cheat someone, you're OK.

 

And that's why the mint added the series of ridges ("reeding") around the perimeter of higher value coins - so ambitious thieves could not shave the edges and keep the shavings of gold or silver.

 

LL

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Weeellll, I guess that explains why folks don't get arrested for them "souvenir" penny-squashing machines.

 

 

But when my grandparents' hired man would shave down a penny to use in a coke machine, that was not only a state crime (stealing from the coke company), but the federal "mutilating money" thing, huh?

Edited by Alpo
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Weeellll, I guess that explains why folks don't get arrested for them "souvenir" penny-squashing machines.

But when my grandparents' hired man would shave down a penny to use in a coke machine, that was not only a state crime (stealing from the coke company), but the federal "mutilating money" thing, huh?

In that case it was an attempt to alter the value of the coin by making it work as a dime.
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