Providence, RI, and Athens, Gr -- Usually, it's a case of finders keepers, losers weepers.
Not this time, though.
A "prominent collector" in Rhode Island (which, despite its name, is not actually an island) relinquished his claims to ownership when police prosecuted him for the possession of stolen property.
During an auction at the Waldorf-Astoria, the coin collector was handcuffed and hauled off to jail. His defense was that he'd believed the stolen coins were actually only forgeries that "looked nice in my collection."
As part of a plea bargain, the collector agreed to return the forgeries to their country of origin, Greece, whose officials are glad to accept the phony coins. "Our economy is a shambles," Aristotle Plato, who wished to remain anonymous, admitted, "and we are only too happy to accept any form of money, from whatever sources, even fake coins, if they look real, which these do."
The coins are "excellent imitations," authorities say, of artifacts minted in 500 B. C. Collectively, all twenty of the coins are worth a total of about two U. S. dollars-a small fortune in modern, cash-strapped Greece.