Fake Silver Dollars among 40,000 counterfeit silver & gold coins seized in Los Angeles

Coin World June 4, 2021

Representatives of the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation and its Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force report that they recently assisted federal law enforcement agents with on-site numismatic expertise regarding more than 40,000 fake Morgan and Peace dollars, American Eagle silver bullion coins and Indian Head gold $2.50 coins that were seized in the Los Angeles area.

The assistance was provided at the request of the Secret Service, according to the ACEF.

“The counterfeits were intercepted from overseas shipments and seized during a two-month joint investigation by the Secret Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” explained ACEF Anti-Counterfeiting director Doug Davis who flew from Dallas to California to assist investigators.

He and task force volunteer Lee Minshull of Palos Verdes, California, a long-time member of the Professional Numismatists Guild, met with federal investigators at the International Mail Facility in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance, California. That is where approximately 1,700 packages of seized counterfeit coin shipments were stored.

“There were numerous wheeled carts filled with packages that contained coins seized during the eight-week targeting operation. We were told that each package contained an average of 27 to 32 coins, all of them counterfeits,” Davis said.

“The quality of the hundreds of counterfeits we personally examined varied from good to very good, especially the counterfeit silver American Eagles,” Minshull stated. “It appears that the fakes we saw probably were made by three different counterfeit manufacturers. If they were genuine, the retail value of these 40,000-plus coins would be over $2 million.”

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