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Category: Counterfeits & Fraud

Counterfeit Seated Half Dollars Alert!!

This coin is NOT one of the counterfeits coins(Bill Bugert – Editor: David Lange, Director of Research for the Numismatic Guaranty Corporations sent me this note on January 23, 2008.)

“I received the following bulletin from Ray Czahor of Cookie Jar Collectibles, and we agreed that it should be reprinted in the E-Gobrecht. I was just talking to a good friend in Manila Philippines this morning on a couple of Philippine issues. He attended a local auction this weekend.

He said Moslems were offering to local dealers, some of whom bit, 80 to 100 SCARCE to RARE US Liberty 50 Cent pieces. They included dates 1847, 1857, 1857-S, and 1857-O. He said the pieces were the correct weight, high grade UNCs, nice reeding but rounded edges. One dealer there bought 65 pieces for up to $250 for the rare date. Maybe you have already seen them but thought I would pass this info on.”

Mysterious $100 ‘supernote’ counterfeit bills appear across world

Examining $100 BillBy KEVIN G. HALL for McClatchy Newspapers

DANDONG, China | The currency changer, brazenly plying his illegal trade in the Bank of China lobby, pulled out a thick wad of cash from around the world and carefully removed a bill. The 2003 series U.S. $100 bill was a fake, but not just any fake. It was a “supernote,” a counterfeit so perfect it’s an international whodunit.

It had come from a North Korean businessman, the changer said, getting angry looks from his confederates. He stank of alcohol, but his story was plausible. The impoverished hermit nation sat just across the Yalu River from Dandong.

The Bush administration and members of Congress two years ago loudly accused North Korean leaders of being behind the counterfeiting of U.S. currency, but a 10-month McClatchy Newspapers investigation raises questions about those charges.

As the currency changer told a reporter, “The ones from Europe are much better.” Read Full Story

The sound of a bad penny

Daniel Cressey for Nature.com

Sound of PenniesAcoustic method could quickly catch counterfeit coins.
You might assume that counterfeiters only bother with high-value bank notes, but there is a chance that some of the coins jangling around in your pocket right now are fake. If Mototsugu Suzuki gets his way, it may be that jangling that gives them away.

Suzuki, a researcher at the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Laboratory in Japan, has developed a way of examining coins based on the sound they make.

The traditional method of spotting a fake coin is to look at it — very closely. While this requires equipment no more specialist than a reasonable microscope, says Suzuki, it is time consuming and can cause “a lot of trouble” if the coins are heavily worn or when a large number of counterfeit coins are in the system. Read Full Story

Important Announcement: Counterfeit NGC Holders

Counterfeit NGC Holder and Coin* * * * * CONSUMER ALERT * * * * *

NGC has identified and confirmed that a counterfeit replica of its holder has been produced. At first appearance, the holder resembles the NGC holder and its respective brand marks. Upon inspection, variations in the holder, label and hologram make them easily discernible from authentic NGC-certified coins. This announcement includes diagnostic information to identify counterfeit holders.

The holder has been seen housing counterfeit dollar or foreign crown size coins. While the enclosed coins are also counterfeit, the label information matches the coin type enclosed. The label information is copied from actual NGC certification labels, and the certification information therefore will match the NGC database. Most frequently Trade Dollars and Bust Dollars are found, although, Flowing Hair Dollars, and foreign coins have also been seen. A range of grades is also represented.

Read Full NGC Announcement with Additional Photos

Counterfeiter jailed for making 14 million fake £1 coins

Marcus Glindon manufactured 14 million fake pound coinsA man responsible for making 14million fake £1 coins is starting a five-year jail sentence. Police said the coin-making operation was one of the biggest they had ever seen.

Marcus Glindon, 37, ran the counterfeiting scam from a workshop on an industrial estate after losing his job as an engineer. Despite the scale of the forging operation – which earned Glindon £300,000 – police said his lifestyle showed no “signs of wealth”.

Officers who searched his workshop in Enfield, North London, discovered enough machinery for the large-scale manufacture of fake coins. There were also copies of the dyes used to imprint legitimate £1 coins.

Detectives arrested Glindon, from nearby Edmonton, and he admitted he had been producing the fake money for seven years.

The father of two said that he had worked alone for most of that time, under the orders of two men he knew only as “Tom” and “John”. They would deliver materials to his workshop, which he would use to produce both completed and blank coins. (more…)

Coin company hires investigator to prove consumer fraud

By David Yates for the Southeast Texas Record

Austin-based U.S Money Reserve, Inc. is pursuing a permanent injunction against a band of former employees, who formed their own coin company by allegedly stealing the company’s consumer accounts.

U.S Money Reserve, doing business as United States Rare Coin & Bullion Reserve (USRCB), filed its suit, USRCB vs. United States Money Exchange et al, earlier this month.

On Nov. 13 Judge Bob Wortham, 58th Judicial District, granted a temporary injunction. Two weeks later, on Nov.29 a hearing was held for a permanent injunction. At press time no decision had been reached.

The suit names as defendants Cecil Roberts, individually and doing business as United States Money Exchange; Jason Braquet and Ed Seymour, individually and doing business as JTB Coins; Chad Poole, Terry Finley and Bill Truman. (more…)

N. Korea: Tell the truth on forged dollars

North Korea Counterfeit $100 billsATHENS – It’s time to answer questions about North Korea’s long-reported production and laundering of high-quality counterfeit US $100 notes. There’s a good opportunity at hand: an unusual meeting this week in New York between senior US and North Korean officials. One of its purposes is to reopen talks about Pyongyang’s alleged illicit financial operations.

Back in 1976, Pyongyang purchased from a specialized Swiss firm a sophisticated intaglio (high-pressure) press for printing currency. At the time, it was identical to the presses used by the US Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing to turn out hundreds of millions of dollars in genuine greenbacks annually (and is thought to be still highly similar).

After nearly a decade’s delay, high-quality counterfeit intaglio-printed $100 bank notes with only microscopic flaws – dubbed “Supernotes” by bankers and currency buffs – were spotted and seized, first in the Philippines, then in Hong Kong, Thailand, and finally, in the early-1990s, in Europe and the Americas. Read Full Story

Investigators seize $1M bill, question origin

1 million dollar bill?By Karen Daily, Aiken Standard

Investigators say they don’t know where an Augusta man picked up the much-publicized $1 million bill that he tried to open a bank account with but added that it has been seized and is now in police custody.

Alexander D. Smith, of the 500 block of Fairhope Street in Augusta, was charged with forgery after the 31-year-old man presented the counterfeit bill to a teller at Regions Bank in Clearwater Monday afternoon, said Aiken County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Michael Frank.

The bogus bill, however, is actually a religious tract, according to national media reports.

Last year, the Secret Service became involved in a North Carolina investigation after a bank customer there tried to deposit one of the phony bills. Agents tracked the bill to a Denton, Texas-based ministry where they’d found more than 8,000 of the Grover Cleveland bills. (more…)

Man Tries to Open bank Account with $1M Bill

Fake $1,000,000 banknote AIKEN, S.C. – A bank teller had a million reasons to deny this transaction.

Police say a man tried to open an account with a $1 million bill, which does not exist. The teller refused and called police while the man started to curse at bank workers, said Aiken County Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Michael Frank.

Alexander D. Smith, 31, of Augusta, Ga., was charged with disorderly conduct and two counts of forgery, Frank said.

The second forgery charge came after investigators learned Smith bought several cartons of cigarettes from a nearby grocery store with a stolen check, Frank said.

Smith has a bail hearing scheduled Wednesday, but Deputy Angela Shunn of the Aiken County Detention Center did not know if he had an attorney. An off-hours call to the public defender’s office went unanswered.

Grandad accused in bizarre $64bn counterfeit case

500,000 Bank of England NoteBRITISH police say Ross Cowie is the audacious frontman of a counterfeit gang that sought to defraud the Bank of England out of $64 billion.

His Australian family says the 62-year-old grandfather is a patsy.

“That’s the word we’ve been bandying about,” his daughter Tiffany Cowie said yesterday. “In any business relationship, if you’re performing contracted work for other people, it’s a situation where you have to take the word of people you’re associating with.”

In this instance, Cowie’s associates and fellow defendants are five Chinese nationals – and a New Zealander still at large. It’s not disputed Cowie was their point man.

The question to be settled over the next six weeks in Southwark Crown Court is whether or not Cowie was suckered into believing a story so crazy it could never, as it turned out, be true. To wit, six Chinese people, aged between 109 and 116 years, had been hoarding £28billion from pre-Communist days. They had decided to exchange the money for modern notes and share it among their offspring.

The yarn goes from quirky to quackery with claims that the cash included a small mountain of £1000 notes, which were in circulation until 1943 – and only 63 are said to remain outside the bank’s vaults – and the inclusion of hundreds of special issue £500,000 notes that, in fact, never existed. Read Full Article

‘Hologram Tam’ jailed over counterfeit millions

counterfiet 20 pound notesTO PASSERS-BY, it was an ordinary shopfront in an unremarkable part of Glasgow. Aside from a lucrative niche turning out menus for Asian takeaways, Print Link did little to draw attention to itself.

But now the premises have emerged as the base of one of the most sophisticated counterfeiting operations ever seen in Britain, producing fake banknotes that were found across the country. The operation was so big that the High Court heard the forgers had the ability to destabilise the British economy as part of a network linked with criminals across the UK.Thomas McAnea -

The operation was described by police as “big as it comes”. They said the expertise exhibited was “very sophisticated”.

Fake Bank of Scotland £20 notes with a value in excess of £1.2 million and 50 notes with a total value of more than £400,000 were either put into circulation or were about to be distributed.

Police believe the criminals targeted events including football matches as a cover to launder cash. The gang developed a system which had the potential to produce £1 million in forgeries every two to three hours.

Man guilty in eBay fraud

A Madison man who sold coins on eBay for several years until he suffered losses in commodity trading and gambling pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in connection with defrauding customers of $171,000. Between May 1 and Dec. 29, 2006, John E. Paul took payment from 24 customers for collectible coins he auctioned on eBay’s Web site without sending them their merchandise.

Paul, 51, had been a successful coin seller on eBay, listing coins under the registered name “badgerbay.” But by 2006, eBay began receiving numerous complaints about “badgerbay” not shipping purchased items and being nonresponsive to inquiries, Assistant U.S. Attorney Grant Johnson said.

EU proposes fighting fake euros with fakes

The European Union’s executive arm, the Commission (EC), wants to allow member states to use a new weapon in the fight against fake euros: fake euros.

In an announcement made on Tuesday, the EC proposed a series of laws aimed at strengthening the authorities in the fight against forgery. The keystone of the package was a law obliging banks to check for fake euro coins and notes themselves.

But to make sure those checks are effective, the EC proposed a second law allowing banks to transport fake coins and notes themselves, so that their checking machines can learn to tell good money from bad. (more…)

Facts about Fakes

By Michael Fazzari for Numismaster

One of the first things many authenticators look for on U.S. coins they examine is the presence of metal flow. This characteristic provides a good indication that the coin was made using dies. Forty or so years ago, this was virtually enough proof that a coin was genuine because at that time, most counterfeits were made by casting.

Even by the early 1970s, years after die-struck fakes had appeared, the majority of struck counterfeit coins showed little evidence of metal flow lines. In fact, most struck counterfeits of the day were similar to castings, having weak, mushy details.

It’s not that simple anymore. Authenticating a coin by metal flow alone is down-right ignorant. That’s because, over time, struck counterfeits began to show traces of flow lines, and even duplicated much of the die polishing lines found on genuine specimens. Today, there are many die-struck counterfeits that almost defy detection.

Fake Coins Big Business in China

By Richard Giedroyc for Numismaster

Most world coin collectors will sooner or later come into contact with counterfeit coins of the Chinese Empire and from the period of the republic. Coin dealer Stephen Album’s comments on finding these coins for sale in markets throughout the Peoples’ Republic of China have been published in this column in the past.

There are two types of counterfeit coins, contemporary and modern. Contemporary counterfeits are of more interest academically since they were produced to deceive merchants and consumers when spent. Modern counterfeits of collector coins are produced for a different reason, that reason being because coin collectors pay a premium for certain genuine older coins for their collections.

Up until recently, the majority of Chinese counterfeit currently appearing in markets are coins that are modern copies of earlier issues coveted by collectors. Now, however, current legal tender coins of the PRC are being counterfeited as well. And, it appears to be big business.

Fake Celtic trophy type gold quarter staters

Posted from Robert Matthews Coin Authentication

Respected Celtic coin specialist dealer, Chris Rudd, has posted on the news section of his website details of fake trophy type gold quarter staters that are currently circulating. He has posted photographs of five examples of these counterfeits and details of Celtic coin expert, Dr. Philip de Jersey’s opinion of these coins.

Dr. de Jersey is quoted as saying, “A number of near-identical trophy type quarter staters have appeared on the market in recent months. All are from the same pair of dies and I am sure that they are modern forgeries.” Among the points made by Dr. de Jersey are:

When Fakes Become Collectable

An unusual auction took place earlier this year. The sale featured a number of very high-grade early large cents, some with remarkable provenances going back to some of the most famous large cent collections ever formed. Yet they brought only a couple thousand dollars apiece. Even an MS63 example of a very rare variety of 1793 chain cent brought only $3,600. How did this happen?

The pieces being sold were electrotypes, copies made of some of the finest genuine large cents in existence. The auction was that of the Early American Coppers (EAC) club, an organization of half cent and large cent specialists, and the pieces had been properly catalogued as being electrotypes. The sale of these pieces raises a few questions. Why would anyone pay thousands of dollars for what are essentially counterfeit coins? How did the manufacturers of these pieces have access to the clearly amazing genuine samples they had copied? What is the point in collecting and studying these so-called coins?

BYU grad offers new ways for detecting bogus coins

Crusty old gold miners in Hollywood Westerns bit into gold to see if they’d found the real thing, but biting down on a possibly rare gold coin is no way to determine if it is genuine or counterfeit. Gold is softer than teeth, so sinking incisors into the precious metal can reveal the real thing, but coins are generally harder and teeth marks damage their value. The bite test also can deceive: Lead is even softer than gold. One of the 2,372 Brigham Young University students graduating this week is wrapping up his senior thesis on new methods for testing coins purported to be rare finds. Jeff Brown, who is completing a bachelor’s degree in physics, used a specialized X-ray machine and an electron microscope to study about 50 coins.

State will recover Noe funds and more, broker says

COLUMBUS (AP) — The sale of rare coins and other memorabilia should bring more than the $50 million the state gave a coin dealer convicted of stealing from the funds he managed for the workers compensation bureau, the broker handling the collection’s liquidation said today.

Tom Noe, a Republican fundraiser who was given the funds in 1998 and 2001 to invest in the coins and other items, was convicted of theft and other crimes and sentenced in November to 18 years in prison.

So far, the state has recovered about $42 million through sales of the investments, said Bill Brandt, president and CEO of Chicago-based Development Specialists Inc.

50-Euro Note Most Counterfeited

The European Central Bank’s latest report on euro note counterfeiting shows that “The 50-Euro was the most counterfeited banknote in the first half of 2007, accounting for around a half of the total counterfeits found in circulation.” Total number of fake euros found in the first half of 2007 was listed as 265,000, meaning fake 50-Euros seized numbered about 132,500 notes with a face value of 6,625,000 Euros. That’s $9,138,127.50 in today’s U.S. dollars. Actually, 265,000 out of about 11 billion notes in circulation isn’t bad.

Read Full Story