The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 19, Number 39, September 25, 2016, Article 43


In the you-think-I-can-just-pull-money-out-of-my-butt department comes this story from Dave Moreland's Bozo Criminal of the Day site. Thanks to Ralph Winter for sending this in. -Editor

Bozo criminal for today comes from the International File in Ottawa, Canada, where security at the Royal Canadian Mint had suspicions that someone might have been stealing “pucks”, 7.4 ounce gold nuggets from the facility. But no evidence of theft had shown up on the daily screenings that employees were required to take. And then a sharp-eyed teller at the local bank noticed something strange. Our bozo had brought in some very large checks from the Gold Buyers shop located in the same mall. She became even more suspicious when he requested to have the money wired overseas and listed the Royal Canadian Mint as his employer. Bad idea. She tipped off the cops and a search warrant revealed four of the “pucks” in our bozos safety deposit box as well as a jar of Vaseline in his locker at the mint. Yep, he had been sneaking the gold out in his butt, where it could not be detected by the metal detector. He’s busted!

To read the complete article, see:
Goldi-butt (

Ooooh, that hurts just thinking about it. I'd seen the story earlier in the Washington Post, but that sums it all up nicely. Here's the maintream version, which they still had a lot of fun with. -Editor

The alleged gold heist was an inside job — in more ways than one.

The theft of about $140,000 worth of gold ($180,000 in Canadian dollars) came from within the Royal Canadian Mint, investigators said Tuesday. Leston Lawrence, a 35-year-old employee of the government mint in Ottawa, has been accused of foiling the facility’s high security through a back-end exploit:

Lawrence smuggled out gold nuggets inside his rectum, prosecutors alleged.

After a trial that concluded in Ottawa on Tuesday, Lawrence faced “a number of smuggling-for-cash charges, including theft, laundering the proceeds of crime, possession of stolen property and breach of trust,” the Ottawa Citizen reported. Ontario Court of Justice Judge Peter Doody will deliver a decision by Nov. 9.

Well, one would sure HOPE he laundered the proceeds. That's not what Doug Winter means when he offers to buy Dirty Gold. -Editor

A suspicious bank teller raised the alarm in 2015. Lawrence sold 18 gold pucks — each a circular 7.4-ounce nugget worth about $6,800 — to an Ottawa Gold Buyers store between Nov. 27, 2014, and March 12, 2015, according to court records obtained by the Toronto Sun. Three observations tipped off the bank teller: Lawrence was a mint employee, he had an unusual number of deposits and he frequently requested overseas transactions.

Alerted by the teller’s red flags, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police pursued the tip. Adding to the body of evidence, inspectors said, were four more pucks in Lawrence’s safe-deposit box. Though the pucks were not stamped with identifying markings, the prosecution demonstrated that the nuggets matched a custom scoop the refinery uses to spoon molten gold. They also found a tub of Vaseline in his locker at work. Lawrence was fired in 2015.

You caught the Judge's name, right? But that's not the funniest part. Get a load of his lawyer's defense. -Editor

In his defense, Lawrence’s lawyer argued the evidence was circumstantial. Lawrence could have purchased the gold legitimately, said Gary Barnes, the defense attorney. Nor had the Royal Canadian Mint reported any missing nuggets. Finally, Barnes pointed out that the mint left gold sitting in open buckets.

“This is the Royal Canadian Mint, your Honour, and one would think they should have the highest security measures imaginable,” the lawyer said, as reported by Ottawa Citizen columnist Kelly Egan, who had followed the case since catching wind of the charges in September 2015.

The Canadian Crown corporation mints coins and houses a refinery as well as a precious-metals storage facility. It was Lawrence’s job, as a refinery worker, to test the purity of the pucks in the buckets.

The mint describes itself as fort-like in its defenses: “The refinery is a restricted environment controlled by security personnel,” according to the mint’s website, “supported by state-of-the-art surveillance technology.”

Prosecutors on behalf of the Canadian Crown, however, said that handheld wands — a secondary measure supplementing metal detectors — may fail to register a nugget tucked between an employee’s buttocks. The Crown argued that Lawrence set off the metal detectors with an atypical frequency, though it was not unusual for employees to trigger the systems. Lawrence was not found with gold on his person during any secondary searches.

To read the complete article, see:
Royal Canadian Mint employee allegedly smuggled $140,000 worth of gold in his butt (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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