Police in Franklin, Ind., are being assisted by the U.S. Secret
Service in Indianapolis in their investigation of a man wanted for
duping a jewelry store owner into spending $2,400 for 25 U.S. silver
dollars later found to be counterfeits.
The man wanted in Franklin, Ind., identified himself as Williams
Jamies Thompson Reinaud using a Honduran passport for identification.
He is also wanted by police in three other Indiana cities, as well as
by authorities in Ohio and Virginia for pulling the same ruse, but
with larger numbers of counterfeit Flowing Hair, Draped Bust, Trade,
Morgan and Peace dollars.
The counterfeit coins are believed to be struck in China from base
metals, according to Franklin Police Detective Scott Carter.
It is not known whether the man who identified himself as Reinaud,
or used variations on the same name, is working independent of, or is
anyway connected with Brian Jenkins, 52, of Irvington, N.J.
Jenkins was arrested July 21 in North Brunswick Township, N.J., by
local police and U.S. marshals on multiple in-state and out-of-state
warrants charging him with theft and using false identification in the
sale of counterfeit U.S. silver dollars.
Authorities are investigating whether any connection exists
because both men allegedly targeted different merchants in the same
Police in Fredericksburg, Va., have issued warrants charging
Jenkins with an $18,000 fraud Feb. 28 at DND Jewelers involving scrap
gold that later turned out to be plated, according to Capt. Brent
Taylor, commander of the Fredericksburg Police Department Detective
Division. Fredericksburg police are looking for Reinaud in a separate
case involving the sale of counterfeit silver dollars at a pawn shop
on May 7 in that same city. The transaction at the pawn shop involved
$925 being paid at Cash Palace Pawn for 100 bogus silver dollars,
according to police reports.
Jim Mottola, assistant special agent in charge of the U.S. Secret
Service’s Newark, N.J., office, which is investigating Jenkins, said
the office will be trying to coordinate its investigation with its
counterparts in Indianapolis.
In the Franklin, Ind., case, the man identified as Reinaud
allegedly sold counterfeit Morgan silver dollars at The Diamond Office
on Aug. 3. Among the counterfeits was an 1896-CC Morgan dollar bearing
the CC Mint mark of the U.S. Mint in Carson City, Nev. That facility
only produced U.S. coins from 1870 to 1893.
Detective Carter said separate investigations involving Reinaud
also are being conducted by police in Speedway, Richmond and
Indianapolis in Indiana; in Fredericksburg, Va.; and in Columbus,
Ohio. The incidents involve more than 250 counterfeit silver dollars
that were exchanged for more than $5,000 total.
The Virginia incident occurred May 7 at a pawn shop; the
Indianapolis case on May 18 at a pawn shop; and on July 12 in Columbus
at A Gold 2 Cash Exchange location.
Incident not reported to police
In another case, a man fitting Reinaud’s physical description
allegedly sold 200 counterfeit silver dollars Aug. 9 for $400 to a
convenience store owner in Newport News, Va., who did not report the
incident to authorities, according to a Coin World reader who
wishes to remain anonymous. The counterfeit coins were stapled into
2-inch by 2-inch cardboard holders housed in sleeve pockets of pages
in a notebook, according to the reader.
The counterfeits in the Newport News incident include: 1795
Flowing Hair dollar; 1797 Draped Bust, Small Eagle dollar; 1803 Draped
Bust dollar, 1804 Draped Bust dollar (of which only 15 genuine
examples are known and all worth more than $1 million each); 1847
Seated Liberty dollar; 1799-CC Trade dollar (Trade dollars were only
struck from 1873 to 1885; the Carson City Mint was only open for
production from 1870 through 1893); 1986 Statue of Liberty, Ellis
Island dollar, with the date changed to 1906 with a 0 punched over the
8; and a goloid metric pattern dollar bearing obverse and reverse
designs differing somewhat from the genuine patterns. Of the 200
counterfeits purchased, all but 10 stuck to a magnet, according to the reader.
Some 30 police agencies in more than a half dozen states in the
eastern United States are investigating theft cases allegedly
involving Jenkins in the sale of counterfeit silver dollars.
The U.S. Secret Service in Newark, N.J., is assisting North
Brunswick Township, N.J., police in its investigation of Jenkins, as
well as providing multi-jurisdictional assistance with other agencies. ■