US Coins

New Jersey man gets lengthy prison term for selling counterfeits

Members of the Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force were instrumental in the investigation, arrest and prosecution of Jonathan A. Kirschner for selling counterfeit coins and precious metals bars while posing as a federal agent.

Image courtesy of Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation.

A New Jersey man who pleaded guilty in June 2018 to federal charges of importing and selling counterfeit United States coins and precious metals bars that, if genuine, would be worth more than $46 million was sentenced to 10-and-a-half years in prison.

The sentence handed down Jan. 28 by U.S. District Court Judge Robert B. Kugler in Camden, New Jersey, also requires the man, Jonathan A. Kirschner, 35, also known as Jonathan Kratcher and Jonathan Rosario, of Moorestown, to pay restitution of $14,600 and forfeit the counterfeit coins and bars. Kirchner had also pleaded guilty to posing as an agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, while selling the counterfeit items.

Kirchner has been in federal custody since September 2018, when Judge Kugler revoked his bond after the judge learned Kirchner was continuing to import counterfeit goods from China for resale online.

Two shipments containing fake gold and silver bars were seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents a few days after Kirschner entered his guilty plea, federal prosecutors informed Judge Kugler.

Kirschner’s sentencing was delayed nearly a year while Judge Kugler received and considered comments from victims, including a dozen sovereign mints, private mints, and grading services, according to Doug Davis, director of director of anti-counterfeiting for the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation.

ACEF members aided in the investigation and prosecution, according to Davis.

“The lengthy sentence is a major victory. I felt the judge was very thorough in reviewing the evidence and realized the possible high level of fraud that could occur,” stated Richard Weaver, a member of the ACEF Board of Directors and president of the Professional Numismatists Guild who testified as an expert witness during the sentencing hearing on Jan. 28. 

Weaver, president of Delaware Valley Rare Coins in Broomall, Pennsylvania, played a crucial role in the apprehension of Kirschner. 

Two of Kirschner’s victims visited Weaver in early 2017 seeking an evaluation of 49 Morgan dollars they purchased from Kirschner. Weaver examined the coins and informed the couple that all of them were counterfeits. 

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