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Man Pleads Guilty to Selling, Importing Fakes; Impersonating Agent

ACTF plays key role in investigation and provides experts to identify fakes

Fake ATF BadgeA New Jersey man admitted June 25 to impersonating a federal agent while selling counterfeit coins and bars and unlawfully importing counterfeit coins and bars into the United States, according to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.

Jonathan A. Kirschner, 34, also known as “Jonathan Kratcher,” pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler in Camden, N.J., federal court to one count of falsely impersonating an agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and one count of unlawfully importing counterfeit coins and bars into the United States.

Warning to Coin Community About Supreme Court's Interstate Sales-Tax Ruling

Supreme Court of the United States

The landscape of online shopping changed with last week’s Supreme Court 5-4 decision in the South Dakota v. Wayfair case. The Court’s decision is that states can now require online retailers to collect sales-tax revenue from consumers beyond their borders.

While most news reports covering the decision refer to “internet sales” subject to states sales tax, two important points are being overlooked.

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Coin Dealer for Sale of Counterfeit Coins, Mail Fraud

Federal courthouse in Minneapolis for the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. A Minnesota federal grand jury has returned a 6-count criminal indictment charging coin dealer Barry Ron Skog with five counts related to the sale of counterfeit coins and one count of mail fraud.

According to the indictment filed April 10 in U.S. District court, the 67-year-old Skog owned and operated a business called Burnsville Coin Company, through which he devised a scheme, from June 2012 through October 2015, to advertise and sell counterfeit coins by fraudulently representing that the coins were genuine and worth hundreds of dollars.

The indictment describes how through his business Skog posted advertisements in Numismatic News, a nationally circulated hobby publication.

“When potential buyers responded to the advertisements, the defendant often mailed them, via the U.S. Postal Service, lists of additional available coins for purchase,” the indictment states. It notes that when Skog communicated with victims he would often represent himself as “Ron Peterson” and claim to be an employee of the Burnsville Coin Company, when in fact there were no owners or employees of the company other than Skog.

Greg Allen New ACTF Steering Committee Chair

Greg AllenIndustry Council for Tangible Assets Chairman Philip N. Diehl has announced the appointment of Greg Allen as chair of Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force Steering Committee.

ACTF Steering Committee members serve as leaders of more than a dozen Work Groups comprised of some 40 experts who volunteer their time and expertise to advance the mission of the task force, which includes mobilizing law enforcement to combat counterfeiting and providing training and education for law enforcement, the numismatic community, and the public about counterfeits of circulating, collector, and bullion coins as well as precious metals bars.

U.S. Senate Confirms Ryder as New Mint Director

U.S. Mint LogoThe U.S. Senate on March 21 confirmed David J. Ryder as the 39th Director of the U.S. Mint. A date for his swearing-in ceremony has not been set, but is expected very soon.

He had been awaiting confirmation by the full Senate since Jan.17, when the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs unanimously placed his nomination on the Senate Executive Calendar, which is the upper chamber’s unanimous consent calendar.

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