The Professional Numismatists Guild (www.PNGdealers.com) has issued the first $2,500 in pledged rewards totaling $175,250 to New Jersey coin dealer Ken Starrett whose tip to investigators led to the recovery of rare coins and bank notes stolen in 2009.
PNG is alerting more than 70 other dealers who pledged the remaining amount of the total that the reward money now should be sent because a suspect in the case has pleaded guilty to a federal charge of sale or possession of stolen goods.
The stolen coins and currency were taken in Montville, New Jersey on October 11, 2009 from a van belonging to long-time PNG member Julian Leidman of Maryland.
"The tip from Starrett set everything in motion. FBI agents in conjunction with Montville and New York City police officers followed up and the coins were recovered. Without their actions, I would have been pretty much out of luck," said Leidman.
"PNG Board member Rich Weaver is administering the list of reward fund pledges that were received soon after news of the theft was announced. Pledges totaling $175,250 were made by the PNG and 57 of its members and 16 non-members," said Robert Brueggeman, PNG Executive Director.
"PNG now is issuing its reward of $2,500 and sending cordial letters to the others asking them to fulfill their pledges. The checks should be payable to Ken Starrett, and sent to Rich Weaver in care of Delaware Valley Rare Coin, 2835 West Chester Pike, Broomhall, Pennsylvania 19008."
In 2010, Starrett received the Sol Kaplan Award jointly presented by the PNG and the Lewis M. Reagan Foundation to honor those who have helped fight fraud and thievery in the numismatic profession. The award is named after a former PNG President who was responsible for the apprehension of people suspected in numismatic-related crimes.
Founded in 1955, the Professional Numismatists Guild is a nonprofit trade association composed of the country’s top rare coin and paper money dealers who must adhere to a strict Code of Ethics in the buying and selling of numismatic merchandise.
For additional information about the Professional Numismatists Guild, visit online at www.PNGdealers.com or contact PNG headquarters in Temecula, California at (951) 587-8300.