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20.06.2014 - Operation Choke Point - IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM PNG

From: Robert Brueggeman

To: All PNG Member-Dealers

June 19, 2014

RE: Operation Choke Point

There is a U.S. Justice Department initiative that has the potential to shut down every coin dealer -- PNG member and non-PNG member alike -- in the United States as well as curtail business by overseas dealers who use US-based banks. Read that again: the potential to shut down every coin dealer.

The threat is real, and this urgent email is sent to make sure every PNG member is aware of this profession-killing peril, and to encourage members to promptly take appropriate action.

The coin market menace is called "Operation Choke Point" and it literally has the potential to choke your business to death by pressuring banks and other financial institutions to close your accounts. Why?  Because, according to the Justice Department, you are engaged in a business with a high risk for fraud.

A May 29, 2014 report by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform stated: "Operation Choke Point has forced banks to terminate relationships with a wide variety of entirely lawful and legitimate merchants....  Acting in coordination with Operation Choke Point, bank regulators labeled a wide range of lawful merchants as high-risk including coin dealers...."

The concept of innocent until proven guilty apparently no longer applies to professional numismatists.  The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FIDC) now includes coin dealers in the same risk category as ammunition sales, drug paraphernalia, credit card repair services, debt consolidation scams, escort services, online gambling, payday loan companies, Ponzi schemes and pornography.

Coin dealers are specifically mentioned on pages 1 and 8 of the House Committees report, and you can read the full report here: http://oversight.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Staff-Report-Operation-Choke-Point1.pdf

So, what can you do?  First, support the recently-launched efforts by the Industry Council For Tangible Assets (https://owa.kuenker.de/owa/redir.aspx?C=7zkLxXenDUiG0rFxmJK8hFMEMaDfX9EIR_uWAVTcp_LQuJ-nnJmCen_CD-AmTr0XEOevKtAuCN4.&URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.ictaonline.org%2f) and the Gold & Silver Political Action Committee (http://www.goldandsilverpac.com) to oppose the unreasonable and unfair actions by the Justice Department.  ICTA and G&SPAC are on the front lines of fighting for legislative matters on behalf of professional numismatists.

Second, personally contact your local member of the United States House of Representatives and your state two U.S. Senators to strongly urge them to vigorously oppose the frightening, sweeping generalizations of Operation Choke Hold as outlined in the eye-opening May 29 report of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  (There are 40 members on that committee; perhaps your local Congressman/Congresswoman is one of them. Here's a list of members: http://oversight.house.gov/subcommittee/full-committee)

Earlier this month, a trade organization representing payday loan businesses filed a federal lawsuit (https://owa.kuenker.de/owa/redir.aspx?C=7zkLxXenDUiG0rFxmJK8hFMEMaDfX9EIR_uWAVTcp_LQuJ-nnJmCen_CD-AmTr0XEOevKtAuCN4.&URL=http%3a%2f%2fcfsaa.com%2fPortals%2f0%2flegal%2flawsuit%2fcfsa_complaint.pdf) against the FDIC, the Federal Reserve System Board and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. PNG's Legal Counsel Armen Vartian will be following the progress of that complaint and PNG may file a friend of the court brief.

If you think your business has been harmed by bank actions arising from Operation Choke Hold, please contact me immediately.

Robert Brueggemann

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17.06.2014 - Operation Choke Point

We have just become aware of a US Department of Justice initiative called Operation Choke Point. It appears that the US government is pressuring financial institutions not to do business with companies in trades in which the government claims there is a high risk of fraudulent activity. There is an allegation that the actual government goal is to deny banking services to types of business that the government objects to for ideological reasons. Among those being targeted are coin dealers. A group representing payday lenders has filed a lawsuit challenging the initiative as contrary to law.

Here is the Wikipedia article on Operation Choke Point with links to a congressional report criticizing the initiative and links to the lawsuit that has just been filed:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Choke_Point


Here is an article from The Economist:
http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21603463-anti-fraud-push-accused-turning-bankers-unaccountable-cops-catch

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15.05.2014 - Carmen Arnold-Biucci Statement for the CPAC Meeting

Attached the letter from Carmen Arnold-Biucci - Damarete Curator of Ancient Coins, Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art, Lecturer on the Classics, President of the International Numismatic Council - sent to the Cultural Property Advisory Committee, Cultural Heritage Center

CAB_letter_to_CPAC_for_Egypt_5-14-14

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11.05.2014 - Coinex 2014

COINEX 2014 26 & 27 September, The Ballroom, Millennium Hotel, 44 Grosvenor Square, London W1K 2HP

I am pleased to attach a copy of the Booking Form for Coinex 2014. Please return this as soon as possible. Please ensure that you read the Terms and Conditions noting the changes highlighted in red.

I would be most grateful if you could send the attached files to the members of the IAPN advising them of Coinex 2014.

Best wishes and many thanks, Rosemary, General Secretary BNTA

Coinex_2014_Booking_form

Coinex_2014_Letter_to_members

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17.04.2014 - Fraud attack form Mr. Diaz from France

This information was brought to us through the Gemran Dealer Association. The text is in German, but the message clear:

Derzeit erhalten sowohl Mitglieder unseres Verbandes als auch Briefmarkenhändler, von einem gewissen „LIONEL DIAZ“ (https://owa.kuenker.de/owa/redir.aspx?C=7zkLxXenDUiG0rFxmJK8hFMEMaDfX9EIR_uWAVTcp_LQuJ-nnJmCen_CD-AmTr0XEOevKtAuCN4.&URL=mailto%3alionel.diaz%40aol.fr), angeblich aus Frankreich, unten anhängende Email, wonach er von einem Händler einen Posten Münzen gekauft hat, der u.a. auch einige deutsche Münzen enthält. Da Herr DIAZ nur französische Münzen sammelt und angeblich  keine Ahnung vom Wert der Münzen hat, fragt er nach dem Wert der Münzen. Bilder der Münzen (alle in NGC-Slabs) sind der Email beigefügt.

Nach Recherchen im Internet stellt man fest, dass er die Bilder aus recht aktuellen Auktionen (z. B. Heritage) aus dem Internet kopiert hat. Es handelt sich hierbei um die Originalbilder der Auktion, er hat die Bilder also nicht selbst angefertigt. Seine Behauptung, dass er die Preise der Münzen nicht kennt stimmt nicht, da diese direkt neben dem Original Auktionsbild stehen. Auch, wenn man dann Herrn Diaz einen viel zu niedrigen Preis anbietet, ist er zum Verkauf bereit. Er verlangt allerdings Vorkasse. Händler, die auf diese Masche hereingefallen sind, haben niemals Ware erhalten.

Mit dieser „Masche“ versucht Herr Diaz schon seit längerem - auch bei Briefmarkenhändlern  - angeblich „teure Stücke“ zu verkaufen (s. hierzu auch nachfolgenden Link, im unteren Teil) http://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=41739

Nachfolgend der Originaltext der Email:

Hope you understand english as I don't speak german.

I got some german coins and I did some search on internet but with no real result.

I bought part of the stock from a retired dealer for my own collection

(France) and I found some foreign coins, 7 of them are from Germany.

Each one is certified in a NGC slab.

The 7 coins are (as stated on each slab) :
- 5 Mark 1927A MS65

- 5 Mark 1925A PF65

- 5 Mark 1930A PF65

- 5 Mark 1929E PF65

- 3 Mark 1928D PF66

- 50 Reichspfenig 1924E MS62

- 5 Mark 1928J PF65


As I don't collect Germany I don't know what they are. Do you know ? I assume they have some value since they are slabbed.

I join pictures if that can help to tell me more about these coins.

Thank's a lot in advance
Lionel DIAZ from France

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