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Press Release

Connecticut Man Pleads Guilty to Selling Fraudulently Obtained Gold Coins

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A Connecticut man pleaded guilty yesterday to fraudulently obtaining more than 100 gold coins and then transporting them outside of Massachusetts.     

William Dawson, 52, pleaded guilty to on one count of interstate transportation of property taken by fraud. U.S. District Court Judge Margaret R. Guzman scheduled sentencing for June 18, 2024. Dawson was arrested and charged in October 2023. 

Dawson held himself out as a property buyer and reseller. Person-1 operated a home cleanout business in Massachusetts that sold property contained in decedent estates. In or around December 2022, Person-1 was retained by a decedent estate to clean out a residence in Shrewsbury. In that home, Person-1 found 170 Queen Elizabeth II Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coins, collectively worth approximately $290,000. With approval from the estate, Person-1 agreed to sell 120 of the gold coins to Dawson.

In January 2023, Dawson met with Person-1 in Millbury and purchased the 120 gold coins with two checks totaling $198,800. However, Dawson had significantly less than $198,800 in the relevant bank account when he wrote the checks to Person-1. Later that same day, Dawson called Person-1, falsely claiming that his car had been broken into and that the gold coins had been stolen. The next day, Dawson traveled to a pawn shop in Pawtucket, R.I. where he sold 43 of the gold coins in exchange for $80,442. On several occasions in February 2023, Dawson traveled to a pawn shop in Cranston, R.I., where he sold 19 more of the gold coins in exchange for a total of approximately $35,094.

The charge of interstate transportation of property taken by fraud, provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy and Andrew Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Boston Field Office made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Milford Police Department and the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan O’Shea of the Worcester Branch Office is prosecuting the case.   


Updated April 25, 2024

Financial Fraud