Worlds biggest heists – Stanley Rifkin’s $10 million

Where is the $10 Million Stan?
Where is the $10 Million Stan?

Stanley Mark Rifkin is a convicted criminal in the United States responsible for stealing $10.2 million through wire transfer via telephone in the autumn of 1978. At the time, it was the largest bank robbery in U.S. history.

The date: Oct. 25, 1978
The victim: Security Pacific National Bank

The loot: $10.2 million dollars

The mastermind: Stanley Rifkin

Dubbed by Time Magazine as the “Ultimate Heist”, Stanley Rifkin stole 10.2 million from Security Pacific National Bank. How did the bank find out about the heist? Well, the FBI notified them 8 days later.

They  never knew the money was gone!
They never knew the money was gone!


Security Pacific National Bank was not short on security. Numerous guards and hidden cameras were all apart of their anti-theft arsenal. Yet all the security measures in the world failed to keep out an expert chess player and smooth talker, Stanley Rifkin.

The first step for Stanley was to organize a high profile diamond deal with Lon Stein, a reputable dealer in Los Angelos on Oct. 26, the day after the robbery. He then, on Oct. 25th, gained access to an unmarked elevator and descended onto the floor of the wire transfer room. How was he able to do this? He worked for a company hired to develop a backup system for the wire transfer room. Stanley talked his way in, allowing himself access to daily security codes. Later that day, posing as a representative of the Bank’s International division, he used those codes to transfer 10.2 million to an account at the Irving Trust Company of New York. He then withdrew the cash without a problem.

The next day he used the $10.2 million to buy $8.1 million worth of diamonds (that totaled 43,200 carats) from a Soviet Union dealer that Stein had set him up with.

Diamonds are forever, till your caught!
Diamonds are forever, till your caught!


Selling the diamonds. Stanley was only able to sell $12,000 worth before a former associate that Stanley tried to work with tipped off the FBI on him. Stanley ran, however was soon caught at a friends house seeking refuge for the weekend. He’s looking at 10 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.


The bank will probably make money off of selling the diamonds, because the diamonds are worth $5 million more than what was stolen. Also, the excess money that was not used to purchase the diamonds was returned.

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