US Coins

ICTA task force seeks exhibit of fakes

The Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force of the Industry Council for Tangible Assets aims to prepare an exhibit of federally seized counterfeit U.S. coins for the Aug. 14 to 18 American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Philadelphia.

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ACTF Director Beth Deisher said many of the counterfeits the group anticipates exhibiting are fakes seized by agents with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) from shipments sent through the Port of Chicago, mostly from Chinese sources.

During an ICTA/ACTF update April 27 in conjunction with the Central States Numismatic Society Convention in Schaumburg, Illinois, Deisher said authorities often arrange to have seized property destroyed once any criminal or civil forfeiture cases are completed. ACTF recommended to authorities that they provide examples to the ACTF for ongoing educational purposes.

Deisher says the material seized ranges from small quantities purchased by single individuals for distribution, to potentially millions of dollars in material shipped by an organized network.

Deisher says the quality of the counterfeits has dramatically improved to more closely replicate the genuine coins they are intended to mimic. Counterfeits are being produced to order based on whatever U.S. coins, including bullion and commemorative coins, are popular with collectors and investors.

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The fakes include American Eagle gold and silver bullion coins, and concave/convex 2014-W National Baseball Hall of Fame gold $5 half eagles, Deisher said.

The ACTF has been actively involved with federal, state and local law enforcement officials in the investigation and prosecution of individuals in the sale of counterfeit United States coins, Deisher said, citing a major recent case in the state of Minnesota.

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