6-Cent Eisenhower Counterfeits

A one-cent postage rate increase in 1968 led to a massive operation that produced and distributed counterfeit 6-cent Eisenhower stamps beginning in 1970. After two years of production, a New Jersey organized crime operation was busted by postal inspectors, who seized more than $500,000 worth of the counterfeits along with printing plates and presses.

Pane of 100 6-cent Eisenhower counterfeit stamps turned over to postal inspectors during a 1981 investigation.
Pane of 100 6-cent Eisenhower counterfeit stamps turned over to postal inspectors during a 1981 investigation. These counterfeits from 1970-1972 are blue-black, unlike the original stamp’s dark blue gray color. The perforations are different (measuring 10-1/2 rather than 11 x 10-1/2). They also noticeably have a flatter finish and general loss of detail, particularly in the eyes, lips, and shadowed areas, due to the offset lithography method.
Pane of 100 6-cent Eisenhower counterfeit stamps turned over to postal inspectors during a 1981 investigation. These counterfeits from 1970-1972 are blue-black, unlike the original stamp’s dark blue gray color. The perforations are different (measuring 10-1/2 rather than 11 x 10-1/2). They also noticeably have a flatter finish and general loss of detail, particularly in the eyes, lips, and shadowed areas, due to the offset lithography method.

But the use of these counterfeits did not stop. More than $60,000 worth was sold in the underground market in Chicago in the summer of 1970. In the spring of 1981, three fake stamps were detected on an envelope in a Chicago mail processing center.

When inspectors tracked down the sender, he still had 745 more of the counterfeit stamps. He voluntarily turned them over to the inspectors and provided information about how his father, by then deceased, had purchased a stack of about 50 sheets of stamps for use for advertisements for his bar and lounge business. The case was closed after confirming that the family did not have any more counterfeit stamps in their possession.