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ACTF Special Exhibit of Counterfeits Coins, Bars for Public Education

Homeland Security loans items to illustrate levels of deceptiveness, diversity 

The Industry Council for Tangible Assets Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force will exhibit a five-case display of counterfeit coins, precious metals bars, and grading holders during the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money Aug. 14-18 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

The counterfeit items are on special loan from the Cherry Hill, N.J., office of Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The items were confiscated during HSI’s investigation of a New Jersey man, 34-year-old Jonathan A. Kirschner, who pleaded guilty June 25 to impersonating a federal agent while selling counterfeit coins and bars and unlawfully importing counterfeit coins and bars into the United States.

Silver, Gold American Eagles Most Counterfeited Bullion Coins

2017 silver and gold American Eagle bullion coins

Since 1986 when the United States Mint first introduced silver and gold American Eagle bullion coins, they have been top sellers in the United States as well as around the world.

A new survey conducted by the Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force indicates the popular U.S. bullion coins are now leaders in a category their manufacturer would rather not be in – the most frequently encountered bullion coin counterfeits.

Some 43.3 percent of U.S. coin dealer respondents to the survey report customers seeking to sell them counterfeit silver American Eagle bullion coins. Similarly, 41.2 percent report customers trying to sell them fake gold American Eagle bullion coins. The most frequently encountered fake foreign gold bullion coins include the South African gold Kruggerand at 30.4 percent, the Canadian gold Maple Leaf at 24.2 percent, and Mexican gold 50 pesos at 20.1 percent.

“The survey results are not surprising to us,” said Beth Deisher, the Industry Council for Tangible Assets Director of Anti-Counterfeiting. “Counterfeiters -- primarily from China -- target the most popular products, usually market leaders with the highest brand identification.”

She cited survey results in two other categories – bullion bars and collectible classic U.S. coins.

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.

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