The Last Counterfeiter’s Temptation: Art Williams’ Journey from Crime to Art

Art Williams, a gifted counterfeiter from Chicago’s South Side, has embarked on a tumultuous journey from a life of crime to the world of art. Williams, who learned the craft from his mother’s boyfriend, gained notoriety for his impeccable replicas of the 1996 $100 New Note, one of the most secure U.S. bills ever created. After serving time in federal prison, Williams hoped to turn his life around but was drawn back into counterfeiting.

In 2013, following his release from prison, Williams found himself tempted to resume his illicit activities. With the help of undisclosed investors, he secured $100,000 and an encrypted phone. Equipped with the necessary funds, Williams began gathering equipment, including an offset press, which had become increasingly difficult to find due to the decline of the printing industry in America.

After months of searching, Williams finally acquired the necessary equipment and set up a printing operation in a waterfront dock house in Miller Beach, Indiana. However, he couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched, which heightened his paranoia. Just as he was about to embark on his final print run, his son, Art Williams III, discovered his father’s counterfeiting operation.

A confrontation ensued, reminiscent of the events that led to Williams’ previous arrest. Little Art, as he is known, confronted his father and demanded answers. Feeling cornered, Williams confessed his actions and the dire situation he found himself in. Little Art, disappointed and angry, threatened to inform his mother, a Chicago police officer, about his father’s activities.

Overwhelmed by guilt and fear, Williams made a pivotal decision. He sought guidance from a friend, Jimmy “Pops” Saclamathis, who advised him to focus on changing his life one day at a time. Williams realized that he needed to confront his Cincinnati gangster backers and inform them that he couldn’t deliver the counterfeit money they expected.

Traveling to Cincinnati, Williams met with the gang’s captain and explained his predicament. He offered his paintings as a substitute for the missing funds, showcasing his talent and passion for art. The gang leader, after careful consideration, accepted the paintings and granted Williams permission to pursue his dream of becoming an artist.

In a strange turn of events, Williams left the warehouse, leaving behind his life of crime and embracing a new path as an artist. The encounter marked a turning point in his life, as he vowed to make it as a great artist.

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

  1. I’m curious to know more about Art Williams’ transition from a life of crime to the world of art. Could you please expand on this journey and provide more details about how he made this transition?

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