CRIME: Nix on That Stuff

The idea sounded good: make counterfeit defense stamps of the two-bit variety, turn them in for cash instead of for war bonds. But underworld assistance was needed to market them, and even gangsters can be patriots. Two weeks after the first batch of $52,500 worth of bogus stamps were off the presses, the Secret Service, on a underworld tip, had each counterfeiter under surveillance.

Detroit's famed Purple Gang, approached with a block of the stamps at half price, recoiled in horror. Last week the Secret Service closed in, picked up six men and...