In October 1934 the Superior City Clerk noticed something peculiar about certain scrip that was being turned in for redemption. Some of the notes bore serial numbers that had already been redeemed. Since the city cancelled redeemed notes and did not re-issue them, the Clerk knew there was a problem.
Upon closer inspection, some of the $5.00 notes with duplicate serial numbers had a spelling error. Someone had counterfeited the city’s scrip.
The Superior police investigated the matter and they quickly focused their attention on Ed Lurye, a Superior liquor salesman. He confessed to paying $700.00 in cash for $2,000.00 in bogus scrip to his brother Albert Lurye, a Minneapolis furniture salesman.
Albert Lurye was the mastermind of the operation who employed the assistance of two employees of a print shop in Duluth to make the copies with supplies acquired by Albert Lurye in the Twin Cities.
The printers made $30,000.00 in counterfeit $5.00 and $10.00 scrip. The first printing consisted of $10,000.00 of each denomination. The spelling error was noticed and a second printing of $5,000.00 of each denomination was made. They intended to destroy the notes with the error but $3,000.00 in $5.00 notes with the error remained. They reportedly circulated only $2,000.00 in the counterfeit notes before being caught.
The conspirators were charged with counterfeiting and found guilty after a jury trial. They appealed the conviction. The appeal alleged that the city of Superior did not have authority to issue the scrip as money and that since it was not money, they could not be convicted of counterfeiting. The Wisconsin Supreme Court did not think much of the argument and the conviction was upheld. They were sentenced to a year in prison.
No examples of the counterfeit scrip have been observed.