HomeCrime and FraudTexas Man Arrested for Fraud Involving Rare Coins

Texas Man Arrested for Fraud Involving Rare Coins

Gold Coin Fraud

Worked for different coin companies in Beaumont over a period of five years

By Hubert Walker for CoinWeek ….
Last Wednesday on July 12, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas announced that 42-year-old Wesley Judy Pollard, Jr. of Beaumont had been arrested earlier that day on allegations of federal mail fraud charges stemming from the sale of rare coins without their owners’ consent. Pollard appeared before Magistrate Judge Zack Hawthorn for his initial hearing.

A federal grand jury had indicted Mr. Pollard on 11 counts of mail fraud on July 6.

The Indictment

For five years between 2011 and 2016, Pollard worked as a salesman for different rare coin and precious metals dealerships in the Beaumont area. In 2014, Pollard allegedly began to contact previous customers he had dealt with during his employment, either telling them that he could find buyers for their collections who would pay more than the customer had spent or that Pollard could resubmit the coins to a third-party grading service and receive higher grades than were currently on the holders. He is supposed to have told his victims to hand their coins over to him for handling, promising to either give them the proceeds of the sale or to return their now more valuable coins back, depending upon which pitch had been deployed. Four customers handed over their coins; some used FedEx to ship them to Pollard though he is known to have picked up at least one package in person.

Altogether, the coins had a total value of $5,480,000 USD.

But instead of following through on his promises, Pollard allegedly sold the coins to various pawn shops without his customers’ consent–for less than his victims had paid in the first place. Pollard then allegedly kept or used the money himself.

According to Title 18, Section 1341 of the United States Code (18 U.S.C. § 1341), mail fraud is any crime where the perpetrator formulates and follows through on a plan to obtain money or property by deceiving others in such a way that involves the United States Postal Service in any way. Individuals convicted of mail fraud under United States Code are eligible for a maximum 20-year sentence in federal prison.

Because of the federal nature of the alleged crimes, the FBI is in charge of the investigation. Assistant US Attorney Christopher T. Tortorice is prosecuting the case.

The Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, Brit Featherston, made Wednesday’s announcement before the press. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the district is located in Beaumont.

Mr. Pollard is currently in jail awaiting trial.

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Hubert Walker
Hubert Walker
Hubert Walker has served as the Assistant Editor of CoinWeek.com since 2015. Along with co-author Charles Morgan, he has written for CoinWeek since 2012, as well as the monthly column "Market Whimsy" for The Numismatist and the book 100 Greatest Modern World Coins (2020) for Whitman Publishing.

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