George Aloysious McCann, Philadelphia Mint cashier.

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Born on July 3, 1895, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, George Aloysious McCann played a crucial role at the Philadelphia Mint, serving as its Cashier from March 19, 1934, to 1940. He was the son of James and Mary McCann and married Jennie M. Traynor, with whom he had a son.

McCann gained prominence when implicated in the case involving the 1933 Double Eagles. Although never officially charged, legal issues arose in 1941 when he was convicted of stealing silver from the Mint, resulting in a one-year prison sentence.

Despite the controversies, McCann left a lasting impact during his tenure as the Cashier from 1934 to 1940. The suspicions surrounding the 1933 Double Eagles and the subsequent theft conviction shed light on the challenges he faced. McCann passed away at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and was laid to rest at New St. Mary’s Cemetery in Bellmaw.

One plausible theory suggests that before melting, McCann exchanged the previous year’s Double Eagles for the 1933 specimens, avoiding discrepancies in accounting books and inventory lists. David Tripp’s book “Illegal Tender” proposes that in 1936, McCann, possibly avoiding the statute of limitations, swapped $500 in gold for the 25 1933 coins. Evidence points to Israel Switt as the primary seller of these coins, connecting them to McCann. Although not convicted for the 1933 Double Eagles, McCann did serve a year and a day in jail in 1941 for theft of worn coins while he was Cashier.
Israel Switt was found to have conspired with Philadelphia Mint cashier George McCann to unlawfully acquire 25 of the 1933 double eagle coins, as none of the 445,500 pieces minted were officially released as legal currency, according to Weinman. The plan was for these 25 gold coins to be included in the 1937 melting process, alongside the remaining outstanding production.

Tripp’s research, utilized in the Switt trial, presented overwhelming evidence linking McCann to Switt’s acquisition of the coins. As Cashier, McCann had unparalleled access, and the money deposited in his account led investigators to the conclusion that George McCann was likely responsible.

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