Error coins worth $2.4 million stolen from US Mint, former employee pleads guilty

By on Sep 11, 2011 in United States Comments

A set of so-called error coins worth $2.4 million was stolen from the US Mint, while its former employee pleaded guilty of the charges filed against him on Thursday, September 8, 2011.

Presidential $1 coin
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According to a press release by US Attorney’s Office of New Jersey District that day, a former US Mint police officer named William Gray admitted that he stole the said error coins from the US circulating coins manufacturer.

As announced by US Attorney Paul J. Fishman on the report, Gray sold the stolen error coins to a coin distributor in California, which he sent via U.S. Mail and FedEx.

Gray, from North Wildwood, New Jersey, reportedly confessed in a Camden federal court in front of U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman.

He admitted that the $2.4 million-payment he received from the coin distributor was deposited into his Police and Fire Federal Credit Union account.

Apparently, Mr. Gray failed to pay taxes on the proceeds of the sales of the error coins and pleaded guilty to two counts government property theft and tax evasion, as charged to him.

“Starting about 2007, Gray regularly took several small bags to the coining area, where Presidential $1 coins were made.” Court statements revealed, with the stolen error coins having some “mint errors“.

The Presidential $1 coins have a two-step minting process, with the first step to be the stamping imprinting of the obverse (heads) and reverse (tails) images.

The second minting process is the stamping imprinting of the edge lettering, as the stolen error coins with missed edge lettering, are being considered more valuable to coin collectors.

Gray, 64, who posted a $50,000-bail, confirmed on the report that he worked as a police officer at the US Mint in Philadelphia from June 1996 to January 2011.

If proven guilty, William Gray may be sentenced to a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the theft charges.

Meanwhile, his tax evasion case was said to have a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The announcement of Gray‘s sentence is being set on Dec. 20, 2011.

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