CRIME: A Forger Checked

In the entire spectrum of criminal specialties, from crude second-story work to deft embezzlement, none requires more patiently marshaled skills than those of consummate check forgery. The practitioner must combine the nerve of a sugar-futures trader, the painstaking craftsmanship of a calligrapher and the face-to-face charm of a successful encyclopedia salesman. He must win people's trust in order to clean them out. Where other criminals can hope to muster enough luck to succeed, the passer of bum checks relies on finesse and self-confidence honed to fine arts.

One of the maestros of...

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