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Index – Domestic – Frank Counterfeit Case: Revenge for Tryon

On December 19, 1925, three Hungarian citizens were arrested in The Hague after seizing counterfeit ten million franc banknotes worth ten million francs, according to the Hungarian Telegraph Office. But the incident did not happen on December 19th, but on the 14th. In fact, one of the biggest scandals of the Hardy era, the almost tragic case of the Franco counterfeit, caused the French documents to cause a global stir, while the Hungarian government tried hard to cover up the case. According to the best known explanation, the counterfeiters wanted revenge for Tryonon’s unjust peace dictatorship in France.

Original 1000 franc banknote

Photo: Journal of Numismatics, 2003-2004 (grades 102-103) / Organ

Granddaughter of Windychrods

The details of the Franco counterfeit case have not yet been satisfactorily clarified due to the destruction and encryption of documents and discrepancies in the confessions. However, there is no doubt that the organization was led by Prince Louis Windychrodts, a former local government minister. A portion of the prince’s estate was transferred to Czechoslovakia after the Treaty of Trianon, which was confiscated without compensation by the Czechoslovak government.

Former Local Government Minister, grandson of Alfred Windychrodts, who commanded Austrian imperialist troops against Hungary in 1848-49.

In the garden of Sorospatak, he tried to make a thousand francs of fake by lithographic printing.

Windiescrats enlisted the help of a German expert, Arthur Schultz, as the quality of the counterfeit notes was low. After the arrival of Prince Schultz, he shifted his scene to Budapest, where, after Major LaSalle Jerry entered, fraud continued in the basement of the Redek Street building of the Institute of Cartography. The company, which operated under the Tryon contract and operated for military purposes, was under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Defense.

Frank Lajos is a major criminal in connection with the Frank counterfeiting scandal

Frank Lajos is a major criminal in connection with the Frank counterfeiting scandal

Photo: Gesta Publishing House, Budapest, 1997, page 171.

Betraying the grip of the sword

The counterfeit group bought the equipment from Germany. Despite all their efforts, copying the watermark and obtaining special paper for the bank caused an insurmountable problem, but even the falsification of figures and inscriptions was not successful. The original paper contained fibers that could only be imported from the French colonies. Thus, in the end, the used paper became coarser and thicker to the touch and at the same time lighter than the original. Tried by pressing the watermark. In the end, 30,000 counterfeit “Blue et Rose” were produced in thousands of francs, of which, according to experts, 4,400 were good quality, 9,000 were medium quality and 16,000 were bad quality. Balas Ablonci is a historian According to

The inscriptions were underlined, the paper was rough, the letter “F” of the word “Frank” was blurred instead of the soft light color, and the letters of the value mark were 1 to 3 millimeters thick. The shadow was rough, some letters were long, and there were differences in the woman’s left hand on the right side of the banknote that rested on the sword grip, showing only the thumb in front of the original sword grip, the counterfeit showing each woman’s finger. “

The counterfeit notes calculated that the money would be sent by diplomatic courier to the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and Italy, where the rupee notes would be converted into other currencies.

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Money in stockings

But they fell before they could begin their action. What happened was that retired Husser Colonel Aristide Jankovic tried to recover two fake thousand francs in Amsterdam, probably wrong, but failed. The bank official found the rupee notes suspicious and asked for patience, meanwhile informing the authorities.

Police arrested the man who was about to hide a thousand francs in his socks during the search. At the time of the crime, the suspect began to shake the courier ID of the Foreign Ministry and tried to exclude himself from the proceedings citing his diplomatic status.

Jankovic’s job was to hand over the suitcases full of counterfeit banks to two trustees, Kierkegaard Marzowski and Giorgi Mankovich. Thus, he and his two comrades who were waiting in the hack were arrested.

The scandal reached a climax in Hungarian politics, when Dutch police found the colonel’s notebook and a suitcase full of counterfeit money in Jankovic’s hotel room. “Fully aware of the action”.

However, the involvement of Prime Minister Estuan Bethlehem is still unclear. Formed by the National Assembly on 21 January 1926,

During the parliamentary debate on the Anti-Counterfeiting Committee report, the opposition clashed fiercely against Bethlehem.

The French counterfeiting was said to have been going on for many years with the knowledge and some cooperation of the government. The allegations were immediately dismissed by the Prime Minister or demanded to be proved.

Judgment in The Hague

French and Hungarian police also joined the investigation, one after the other agents who spread fake francs fell. In December, Tessie Raba, secretary of the Prince Lajos Windsgrad, was arrested, and then in January 1926, Prince Thane was Jankovic’s officer in the army. But behind the bars was National Police Chief Imre Nadosi, who handed out courier cards to Jankovic, Arthur Schultz and several employees of the cartography company.

On March 18, 1926, the Hague court sentenced Aristide Djankovic to three years in prison and two of his comrades, Giorgi Marsovsky and Giorgi Mankovic, to two years in prison. In the April 4, 1926 issue of the magazine, Est announced the verdict as follows:

It was a common surprise that the court did not impose the maximum sentence – seven years imprisonment – on the defendants, as everyone in the legal circles was convinced that the convicts were only shocked by the conviction because they would find the Dutch court appeasing the conviction, but it would also take sufficient reasons to reject the motives on which it had relied.

Index damage

A few months later light fines were also imposed in the Hungarian case, which happened at an unprecedented pace. On May 7, 1926, the Criminal Council of the Royal Criminal Court of Budapest, headed by Cosa Turkey, initiated criminal proceedings against Lajos Windychrodts and his associates. Throughout the counterfeiting of money and public documents, the defendants defended themselves by a patriotic act, not a crime. Major Lasley Gero said:

We thought how good it would be to quadruple the land area of ‚Äč‚Äčthis country when the cartography company was innocent, deceptive and law-abiding people, and skilled workers, four times the size of a thousand francs. As we drained the paper from that water, the waters and rivers of the beautiful Carpathians appeared before our eyes.

Prince Windychrods did not feel guilty for two reasons:

First, blaming them is not an individual and selfish crime, it is an objective of the struggle of the Hungarians, which has a very large background. Second, there are many good reasons why we cannot be blamed for all that has been blamed on them. I do not wish to comment on this in the current major proceedings.

Gustav Strach, a lawyer representing the plaintiff, emphasized in his speech:

Because patriotism is the classic sense of patriotism. Only noble deeds can emerge from this noble consciousness. I suspect that counterfeit money can be a noble act. Patriotism and counterfeiting are mutual opinions. Counterfeiting money as a patriotic act, denigrating patriotism, turning patriotism from corners. As far as the homeland is concerned, only what can be done for the salvation and benefit of the homeland. Everyone should consider it before doing anything for their own country.

The verdict in the first case was handed down on May 26. Lajos Windiescrats and Imre Nadosi were each sentenced to four and four years in prison, while Laszlo Kero was sentenced to two years in prison with four months and fourteen days of pre-trial detention. The other defendants were sentenced to six months to two years in prison and fined, and some were released.

After imposing remarkably lenient sentences, the victim, Ban de France, feared the fall of the government of Estuan Bethlehem and demanded a franc in return for his claim for damages.

Evidence was withdrawn

The appellate hearing began on August 16, 1926, before a state committee chaired by Councilor Istuan Gad. The investigation focused mainly on who was the leader of the whole fraud case, as no one admitted it, only Imre Nedosi pleaded guilty among the accused. At one of the most important moments of the investigation, Tessie Raba withdrew her confession that Paul Telegi was the link between the government and the counterfeit notes, and

Thereby expelling the government from the case as a trigger.

On August 24, the State Committee upheld the sentences of the Windiescrats and Nadosi, but reduced the remainder. The House, headed by Second President Jigmund Roth, upheld the verdict in the second case against the Windycrats on October 14, up to four years’ imprisonment instead of four years’ imprisonment, taking into account four years and six months’ imprisonment.


But none of the perpetrators handed down their sentences. Windychrodts was released two years later, but he also spent this time in health centers. Nadosi was pardoned by the governor in the spring of 1928, and was granted a pension until his death in 1935. After the verdict was announced, Zero was acquitted, at least May 27, 1926, according to Festi Harlap’s magazine.

On the other hand, the international public was severely punished: in Western European corporations, the Hungarians who mistakenly paid with good money had long been at the forefront.