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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 21, 2018

New Jersey Man Charged in ‘Bait-and-Switch’ Scheme with Canadian Coins

PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain announced that James Franklin Hill, 55, of South Orange, New Jersey, was charged today by indictment with one count of wire fraud in connection with a scheme that involved a classic “bait-and-switch” scam with a set of 24 Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coins.

According to the indictment, Hill allegedly responded to Craigslist advertisements posted by coin dealers and collectors located in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona, and California. The indictment alleges that Hill presented the coin dealers and collectors with the opportunity to purchase a set of 24 Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coins at prices ranging from $19,000 to $30,000. Hill allegedly showed a genuine set of coins to the purchasers, and then switched the genuine set of coins with a fake set before the transactions were concluded. In November 2016, Hill allegedly sent text and electronic messages to a purchaser in Oxford, Pennsylvania before selling the fraudulent coins to the purchaser. The indictment alleges that between 2010 and 2017, Hill allegedly defrauded his coin purchasers of more than $250,000.

If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and a $100 special assessment.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Oxford Borough (Pennsylvania) Police Department, and other law enforcement agencies in Delaware, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona, and California. Based on the evidence, authorities believe there may be additional victims who have not yet been identified. Anyone with information about this matter is encouraged to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Newtown Square, PA at (610) 353-4500. Callers may remain anonymous.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anita Eve.

Updated June 21, 2018