Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Prominent Coin Collector Pleads Guilty to Selling Forgeries

This man, a bigwig in the world of numismatics (coin study), put a 4th century BCE Greek silver tetradrachm up for auction at a big sale at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in NYC. Investigators taped him admitting to someone that the coins had been illegally removed from Italy--bad enough to get you into some deep trouble. But he was lying. They hadn't been removed illegally--they had been totally forged, "fefaked" (to quote the Praenestine fibula, which should know about these things). He was sentenced to 1) turn over a bunch of coins in his possession, 2) perform community service, and 3) write/publish an essay about Why Coin Smuggling and Faking is Wrong. Note the cameo appearance by our hero Colonel/Manhattan Assistant DA Matthew Bogdanos (lawyer and classicist, who investigated the looting of the Baghdad Museum while in Iraq with the US Marines).

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