Colorado Gold Coin Dealer Sentenced

May 29, 2014 – A gold coin dealer from  Fairplay (ironically enough), Colorado has been sentenced to 7 ½ years in prison after pleading guilty last September to mail fraud and failing to file an income tax return. James P. Burg, 63, will also face three years of supervised release after his prison term has been completed, and spokesman Keith Kelly says the trial’s outcome is a stern reminder that the U.S. government does not take kindly to swindling the elderly.

“Older folks like myself wind up as targets for scam artists because we aren’t always up-to-date with the latest technology or trends,” Kelly said. “Salesmen are slick enough to know how to talk to their ‘marks’ so nothing seems out-of-place, and the gold coin market is home to some of the worst offenders.”

Burg was convicted of collecting almost $2.5 million from customers who agreed to buy gold coins, but those coins were never delivered. Burg faced up to 20 years in prison for his role in the scheme, which involved using multiple company names and aliases to convince investors to send money. Burg used funds to buy mansions, sports cars and to refund money to customers who fought back.

Kelly believes certain schemes are successful because of the fraudster’s ability to mimic the tone, inflection and even the political world view of potential victims. “These criminals practice around the clock so it doesn’t take long for them to figure out what makes an investor take out their check book.”

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