Acting Deputy U.S.
Mint Director Dave Motl’s Nov. 17 response to an Oct. 27 inquiry
from two members of the House Financial Services committee regarding
the Mint’s efforts to combat the rising infiltration of fake U.S.
coins into the United States “lacks commitment” on the part of the
Mint, according to the Industry Council for Tangible Assets’
Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force, spearheaded by former
World Editor Beth Deisher.
Deisher explains in a Dec. 7 press release from the task force that
on Nov. 9, eight days before Motl sent his response to an inquiry from
Lucas, R-Okla., and Alex X Mooney, R- W.Va., task force members met
with Motl and other senior Mint staff at Mint headquarters in
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“While the Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force (ACTF) appreciates Acting
Deputy Director Motl’s acknowledgement that counterfeiting represents
a serious threat to the nation’s coinage, we are nevertheless
disheartened that the U.S. Mint’s efforts on the anti-counterfeiting
front do not reflect a serious commitment to act against this threat,”
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During the Nov. 9 meeting with Mint officials, the ACTF described
three important steps the U.S. Mint has the authority and financial
resources to employ today.
“Respond to the long-standing request from U.S. Customs and Border
Protection to register U.S. Mint products with CBP to allow it to
identify and interdict counterfeits as they enter the country.
To-date, the U.S. Mint has not done so.
“Incorporate (as other sovereign mints have done) state-of-the-art
anti-counterfeiting features into the packaging and Certificates of
Authenticity that accompany its numismatic products.
“Launch a research and development program to determine the most
effective anti-counterfeiting features to incorporate into its
precious metals coins. Other sovereign mints are far ahead of the U.S.
Mint in exploring these options and incorporating them into their
coinage. As soon as practicable the U.S. Mint should draw upon other
national mints’ experience and tap private-sector expertise into order
to identify and implement the best anti-counterfeiting technology.”
Deisher notes that in his letter to the two congressmen, Motl states
that “ ‘in the past two years, we have not received any complaints
about current-issue gold, platinum, or silver coins.’ In fact, in the
Nov. 9 meeting with Mr. Motl, ACTF representatives informed him and
other Mint staff of evidence of counterfeiters producing fake American
Eagle, American Buffalo, and U.S. commemorative coins, all of which
are composed of precious metals.”
The counterfeiting issue could have been addressed by Mint officials
during the Mint’s Second Annual Numismatic Forum on Oct. 17 but
wasn’t, Deisher said.
“ACTF’s concern is that Mint leaders did not raise the subject
because the U.S. Mint is doing little to address the surge of
counterfeit U.S. coins now entering the United States,” Deisher said
on behalf of the ICTA task force. “The Mint has long held the position
that protecting the nation’s coinage from counterfeiters is the
responsibility of the U.S. Secret Service; thus, it has remained
inactive when it comes to developing and employing modern
anti-counterfeiting technology to protect the coins it manufactures.”
The Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force was formally established Jan. 6,
2017, during a meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, “attended and
fully supported by numismatic community leaders and associations that
attended an August 8, 2016, summit to assess the harmful effects of
counterfeit coins entering U.S. markets from China, Russia, Eastern
European countries, and the need for action to address the problem,”
ICTA said in a press statement then.
A goal of the task force is to mobilize law enforcement resources to
protect the integrity of U.S. coinage by educating officials on the
economic impact and growing threat that counterfeit circulating,
collectible, and bullion coins pose to the collecting community as
well as the public at large.
For more information about the ICTA task force, visit the
organization onlline at www.ictaonline.org/actf .