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FDIC Backs Down on “High-Risk” Merchant List
Tuesday, June 04, 2019 12:00 AM

The FDIC has fully reversed its position on a list of merchant categories thought to present a high risk for payment fraud. In a May 29 article, the Wall Street Journal reports that a suit brought by payday lenders against the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has been settled, and that banks must no longer rely on the FDIC’s “high-risk” list, which included coin dealers.

Kansas Governor Signs Bill Providing Sales-Tax Exemption

2005 Kansas 50 States Quarters Coin. (United States Mint image.)On Thursday, May 16, 2019, Kansas governor Laura Kelly signed into law House Bill 2140, which provides a sales-tax exemption on sales of gold and silver coins and on all gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion.

“The outcome is not everything we started with in the original bill, but certainly better than where we were,” said Dean Schmidt (Dean Schmidt Rare Coins). The late Diane Piret, ICTA’s director of legislative affairs, would agree. She always said, “It’s better to get a partial loaf than none. We can always come back for more.”

Minnesota Man Pleads Guilty to Counterfeit Coin Fraud Scheme
Federal courthouse in Minneapolis for the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. Barry Ron Skog, 68, of Burnsville, Minn., pleaded guilty February 21 to one count of selling counterfeit coins and one count of mail fraud in the United States District Court of Minnesota in St. Paul.

Skog faces a potential maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment on the count of selling counterfeit coins and a potential of 20 years maximum on the mail fraud count. He also faces fines of up to $250,000 for each count and mandatory restitution in amounts to be determined by the court.

No date has been set for sentencing.

A Minnesota federal grand jury had returned a six-count criminal indictment on April 10, 2018, charging Skog with five counts related to the sale of counterfeit coins and one count of mail fraud. With the plea agreement, the government agreed to dismiss four of the counts related to selling counterfeit coins.
New Date Set for Kirschner Sentencing

Fake ATF BadgeA New Jersey man admitted June 25 to impersonating a federal agent while selling counterfeit coins and bars and unlawfully importing counterfeit coins and bars into the United States, according to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.

April 25 is the new date for Jonathan A. Kirschner’s sentencing hearing.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert B. Kugler had been scheduled to sentence Kirschner on February 5 for his admitted crimes of falsely impersonating an agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and of unlawfully importing counterfeit coins and bars into the United States.

Alabama Dealers Honored with Service Award

Industry Council for Tangible Assets chief operating officer David Crenshaw (left) and ICTA treasurer Patrick Heller (right), present Phil Darby (center) with the organization’s Diane Piret Memorial Outstanding Service Award at the organization’s dinner and update.

Industry Council for Tangible Assets dealer-members Phil Darby (J&P Coins and Currency, Helena, Alabama) and Steve Caiola (Alabama Gold Refiner, Homewood, Alabama) were honored during the ICTA dinner and update at FishBones, Orlando, Florida, on January 9 as the recipients of the 2018 Diane Piret Memorial Outstanding Service Award.

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