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November 28, 2020


Vital rare coin & paper money industry updates

Press Release: Minnesota dealer gets 30 months in federal prison for selling counterfeit coins

CDN Publishing · Jul 11, 2019

Fraud scheme carried out in multiple states, some victims still may be unidentified Minnesota coin dealer, Barry Ron Skog, 68, was sentenced July 9th to 30 months in fe

Fraud scheme carried out in multiple states, some victims still may be unidentified

Minnesota coin dealer, Barry Ron Skog, 68, was sentenced July 9th to 30 months in federal prison for carrying out a counterfeit coin fraud scheme in multiple states. In addition, Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright, U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minn., ordered Skog to pay restitution to his victims.

Based on the evidence obtained during the investigation, authorities believe there may be additional victims who have not yet been identified. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau at 651-539-1617. Callers may remain anonymous.

The Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau and the Burnsville (Minn.) Police Department conducted the investigation that led to Skog’s arrest. Two members of the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation’s Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force assisted with the investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Manda M. Sertich, U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minneapolis.

Skog pleaded guilty February 21 to one count of selling counterfeit coins and one count of mail fraud. He faced a potential maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment on the count of selling counterfeit coins and a potential of 20 years maximum on the mail fraud count. A Minnesota federal grand jury had returned a six-count criminal indictment on April 10, 2018, charging Skog with five counts related to the sale of counterfeit coins and one count of mail fraud. With the plea agreement, the government agreed to dismiss four of the counts related to selling counterfeit coins.

According to the plea agreement Skog owned and operated a mail-order business called Burnsville Coin Company, through which he devised a scheme, from June 2012 through October 2015, to advertise and sell counterfeit coins by fraudulently representing that the coins were genuine and worth hundreds of dollars. The plea agreement described how through his business Skog posted advertisements in Numismatic News, a nationally circulated hobby publication.

“When potential buyers responded to the advertisements, the defendant often mailed them, via the U.S. Postal Service, lists of additional available coins for purchase,” the plea agreement stated. It noted that when Skog communicated with victims, he would often represent himself as “Ron Peterson” and claim to be an employee of the Burnsville Coin Company, when in fact there were no owners or employees of the company other than Skog.

The plea agreement stated that Skog sold counterfeit coins to at least 12 separate victims and fraudulently obtained approximately $57,524.29. It noted that he “also intended to create additional loss by advertising for sale 275 additional counterfeit coins at an advertised sale value of approximately $235,000.”

Collectors Universe won a default judgment against Skog in April 2011 in which a federal court issued an order permanently enjoining Skog from manufacturing and importing counterfeit Professional Coin Grading Service holders. The order also enjoined him from selling any coin, real or counterfeit, in counterfeit PCGS holders. Collectors Universe is the parent firm of the PCGS.

The civil lawsuit was filed on Dec. 7, 2010, in the United States District Court, Central District of California, and accused Skog and his coin business of selling during the previous four years counterfeit rare coins not marked COPY and housed in counterfeit PCGS holders, known as “slabs,” made to order from Chinese manufacturers.

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Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation’s task force was launched in January 2017. Its mission is to educate law enforcement authorities and policy makers about the rising threat of counterfeiting, mobilize law enforcement to attack counterfeiters where they are most vulnerable, and provide expertise and other resources in the investigation and prosecution of counterfeiters and those involved at all levels of their distribution networks.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit supported solely by contributions. Contributions or gifts to ACEF are tax deductible as charitable contributions. For information about ACEF and donating, visit

Comments (6)

  • Chris Evans

    What I would like to know is why, why, why, is Amazon being allowed to knowingly sell, through sellers based in China, all of these counterfeit coins. People are getting duped over and over again. And the really sad thing is, that these buyers are posting positive reviews because they have absolutely no idea they just got scammed. And Amazon is being allowed to do this, but they are banning sellers from selling certain books because they don't fit their opinion of appropriate. Please, United States Secret Service, tell me why the agency hasn't stopped this!!! You might not be able to stop the Chinese sellers, but you can CERTAINLY stop the American seller Amazon!

    Saturday, August 3, 2019 7:11 PM EST

    With over seven years of crime on the record, justice prevails. Thank you to our law enforcement officers, etc. for their good work !

    Sunday, July 14, 2019 1:52 PM EST
  • Michael Sullivan

    A real problem in the coin investment market. It’s not only the counterfeit coins in counterfeit slabs. Even more serious are the “over graded” genuine coins in counterfeit slabs. When an over graded slabbed coin is spotted we tend to say “oh well, the grading company got this one wrong”. Seldom is the over graded coin slab scrutinized.

    Sunday, July 14, 2019 8:21 AM EST
  • Steve Bresnick

    This is the type of person who can circulate in the coin business. Buyers beware!

    Saturday, July 13, 2019 7:15 PM EST

    Lots more out there that advertise on our collectors publications Thanks for helping get rid of them , one at a time

    Saturday, July 13, 2019 3:06 PM EST
  • Phil Shockley

    Unless and until, criminals such as this individual is hit HARD, it will continue. 30 months is but a slap on the wrists. It should have been more. The prosecutors should have been guided by qualified from ANA, PCGS or NCG.

    Saturday, July 13, 2019 10:24 AM EST

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