Hot On the Heels of Coin Dealers Peddling Fakes; Rare Coin Market Weathering Pandemic Well
COINage Magazine|October - November 2020
Acting on a tip from the Anti- Counterfeiting Educational Foundation (www.ACEFonline. org), federal and local California law enforcement agents now are investigating the attempted sale of $400,000 of counterfeit coins including a fake example of the historic 1879 Coiled Hair gold $4 “Stella” that brought $300,000 at auction last year. The seller also is a suspect in an earlier case involving fakes, according to Doug Davis, director of the ACEF Anti- Counterfeiting Task Force (ACTF).
Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez

The bogus Stella was housed in a counterfeit Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) holder with a fake insert label printed with the same NGC PR63 grade and certification number as the genuine coin.

Davis, a former Texas Police Chief, alerted the U.S. Treasury Department Office of Inspector General (OIG) and is assisting investigators in this case.

“We were alerted to this case by Ryan Moretti of Orange County California, the senior numismatist of Colorado-based American Rarities. He was contacted by an individual offering to sell several expensive coins allegedly in NGC holders, including the 1879 Coiled Hair $4 Stella, of which only about dozen genuine examples are known,” said Davis.

The other counterfeit coins offered by the seller were a 1793 AMERICA Chain cent, NGC VF20, an 1800 Draped Bust dollar, NGC AU58, and an 1871-CC Seated Liberty dollar, NGC AU55.

When he received the coins, Moretti suspected that they and the NGC holders were counterfeit based on his years of experience as a professional numismatist. The suspicions were confirmed after inspection by other numismatic experts, including NGC representatives.

“When we entered the suspect’s name into the ACTF crime and intelligence database, it linked him to another case in which he reportedly attempted to sell counterfeit coins to a Minnesota dealer in December 2019. ACTF alerted agents with the Minnesota Department of Commerce and U.S. Treasury OIG. Those coins were seized, and a joint investigation is currently continuing,” explained Davis.

Federal and local investigators are reviewing both the Minnesota and California cases to determine appropriate jurisdiction to initiate prosecution against the suspect for possession and distribution of counterfeits with the intent to defraud.

“Well-made fakes are flooding the U.S. marketplace and the integrity of the numismatic community is under attack. These recent cases spotlight the significant technological advancements of counterfeiters and their agents as well as the all-too-easy availability for the sale of fake coins and precious metals housed in counterfeit third-party authentication and grading holders,” Davis cautioned.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM COINAGE MAGAZINEView All

Q. David Bowers

GREAT COIN HOBBY PROMOTER

2 mins read
COINage Magazine
February - March 2021

PCGS SOLD, NEW COIN DESIGNS, SOARING SILVER

In November, the news was that an investor group led by American billionaire hedge fund manager and majority owner of the New York Mets Steven A. Cohen and collector Nat Turner plan to acquire Collectors Universe (NASDAQ: CLCT) for about $700 million.

5 mins read
COINage Magazine
February - March 2021

LEGENDARY CELEBRITIES BUYING COINS

Numismatics In the Media Spotlight

10+ mins read
COINage Magazine
February - March 2021

RUSH TO GOLD

FROM THE MINES TO THE MINTS

10 mins read
COINage Magazine
February - March 2021

GETTING FAMOUS IN COINS

Donn Pearlman is the History of Coin Promotions

10 mins read
COINage Magazine
February - March 2021

Michael Ray Fuljenz

AMERICA’S GOLD EXPERT

7 mins read
COINage Magazine
February - March 2021

EARLY HISTORY OF COIN FAME

B. MAX MEHL AND HARRY J. FORMAN TOOK THE LEAD

6 mins read
COINage Magazine
February - March 2021

New Protection and Solid Advice in the Fight Against Counterfeit Coins Trending

PCGS Announces Groundbreaking NFC Technology Included in all Holders

6 mins read
COINage Magazine
December 2020 - January 2021

Great Coin Finds of a Lifetime

Coin Hunts Can Make Any Day a Holiday

5 mins read
COINage Magazine
December 2020 - January 2021

Golden Present

Memories of Gold Dollars for the Holidays

9 mins read
COINage Magazine
December 2020 - January 2021