MASSACHUSETTS RESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY TO MAIL FRAUD INVOLVING THEFT OF GOLD AND SILVER COINS
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announced today’s guilty plea of Charles F. Whelan, 44, of Abington, Massachusetts, to a charge of mail fraud, in a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341.
Sentencing has been scheduled for June 6, 2011, before U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore, in Fort Pierce, Florida. Whelan faces a maximum statutory sentence of up to 20 years’ imprisonment followed by a period of supervised release.
According to the stipulated factual basis filed in support of guilty plea, on November 11, 2009, a South Florida victim contacted the FBI’s Boston Office, regarding the possible theft of forty-two (42) rare gold and silver coins worth approximately $215,000. The victim advised he had an ongoing relationship with Charles Whelan, d/b/a National Treasures, Inc., located at 208 Regency Lane, Abington, MA. Boston FBI referred the complaint to the Miami FBI for further investigation.
Further investigation revealed another four victims from Pennsylvania. The victims had been purchasing vintage and rare coins from Whelan through the mail. At Whelan’s request, the victims later shipped the coins back to Whelan, trusting his representation that he would sell the coins at a higher price and send them money. In fact, however, Whelan never sent payment to the victims or returned the coins.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carmen Lineberger.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.