HOT PAPER by Gerald Astor


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More than $13 million in US Treasury bills was stolen from the Morgan Guaranty Trust Co. in New York City--on the day in October, 1969, when the Orioles won their first World Series. The actual details of the theft are merely speculative, since The Person (as the author coyly refers to the thief) was never caught, but it is clear that, as with any large heist, the Mob controlled the distribution of the loot--which in this case was used mainly as collateral for straight bank loans. Only a few of the penny-ante crooks, lawyers and accountants involved were captured (fewer still were convicted), and these were snagged thanks to their own stupidity or the rare alertness of bank officials, not the efforts of the FBI, even though a multitude of G-men were rather uselessly assigned to the case. The book is perfunctorily, sometimes carelessly written, and some of the legal intricacies are left unclear, but what does come through is the astounding inadequacy of banking regulations and evidentiary laws and the incompetence an worse of crooked and lazy officials.

Pub Date: Jan. 30th, 1975
Publisher: Saturday Review/Dutton