ACEF Gives Assistance in Seizures of 40,000+ Counterfeit Coins


Representatives of the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation ( and its Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force (ACTF) on the request of the Secret Service provided on-site numismatic expertise to federal law enforcement agents in the Los Angeles area who seized more than 40,000 fake Morgan and Peace dollars, American Eagle silver bullion coins and $2½ Indian Head gold coins.

Intercepted fake Peace dollars
Some of the fake Peace dollars discovered among the approximately 40,000 counterfeit silver and gold coins seized on arrival in the Los Angeles area. (Photo courtesy of Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation.)

"The counterfeits were intercepted from overseas shipments and seized during a two-month joint investigation by the Secret Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection," explained ACEF Anti-Counterfeiting Director Doug Davis who flew from Dallas, Texas to California to assist investigators.

Intercepted fake gold coins
This box contained a few of the thousands of counterfeit gold coins found in approximately 1,700 confiscated shipments seized in the Los Angeles area. (Photo courtesy of Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation.)

He and task force volunteer Lee Minshull of Palos Verdes, California, a long-time member of the Professional Numismatists Guild (, met with federal investigators at the International Mail Facility in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance, California.

That is where approximately 1,700 packages of seized counterfeit coin shipments were stored.

"There were numerous wheeled carts filled with packages that contained coins seized during the eight-week targeting operation. We were told that each package contained an average of 27 to 32 coins, all of them counterfeits," said Davis.

"The quality of the hundreds of counterfeits we personally examined varied from good to very good, especially the counterfeit silver American Eagles," stated Minshull.

"It appears that the fakes we saw probably were made by three different counterfeit manufacturers. If they were genuine, the retail value of these 40,000-plus coins would be over $2 million," added Minshull.

Davis said the coordination between ACEF/ACTF, Secret Service and Customs and Border protection "provided valuable intelligence information that supports our work in exposing the widespread proliferation of counterfeit coinage and precious metals into the U.S. marketplace.

Hundreds of seized packages
Some of the approximately 1,700 packages of seized counterfeit coin shipments that were at the International Mail Facility in Torrance, California. (Photo courtesy of Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation.)

Most importantly the success of this operation provides us with evidence to continue educating the higher-up administration within Secret Service, Customs, and Border Protection and other law enforcement agencies about the growing problem of counterfeits."

He added: "We will be providing Secret Service with a report of our evaluation. Secret Service was very appreciative of our assistance and willingness to travel at short notice to assist in the investigation. We could not say anything publicly about this operation earlier until federal agents finished part of their investigation."

This is only one of many cases during the past 12 months in which ACTF has provided numismatic experts to assist Secret Service and other Federal law enforcement agencies on counterfeit cases stretching across the United States.

"ACEF is playing an important role in aggressively identifying counterfeit manufacturers, organized groups, individuals, e-commerce, and social platforms selling counterfeit coins and precious metals. Most importantly, is the resources and experts ACEF has at its disposal to assist local, state, and federal agencies during the investigative process and enhances expeditious indictments and prosecution," Davis emphasized.

ACEF logo

The Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation and its volunteer task force depend entirely on the support of the numismatic profession and the hobby community. ACEF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.

Monetary contributions can be made online at or by check sent to ACEF, 28441 Rancho California Rd., Ste 106, Temecula, CA 92590.

For additional information, contact ACEF Executive Director Brueggeman at

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Kaiser Wilhelm

The sad part of this news is that like any other criminal enterprise which is involved in the supplying of an illegal product, this one clearly requires an ongoing demand for that item. Just as with the drug trade, it is the consumer in the form of crooked U.S. resellers who are the motivators of an operation which requires their full complicity to continue to thrive.

Last edited 9 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm

is a digital scale the easiest way to detect a counterfeit ?

Tony Montana

A lot of these look quite cheesy. I would always look to the center of the coin to see what kind of strike it is. For the gold obviously if it’s real gold or not it will be the first test. I love those piece dollars look so fake worn that they don’t even appear to be real. It was one of the five dollar or 2 1/2 taller Indians that look less realistic than the chocolate coins I get it Christmas and Hanukkah. Scary stuff agree sellers are scum, watch out on eBay kids.

Kaiser Wilhelm

With the counterfeits coming out of China getting ever more sophisticated, their appearance alone is now the least promising aspect for determining whether or not any particular coin is genuine or not. As Mark points out below, even weighing coins is not an absolutely foolproof authenticity check. The best way to avoid being tricked and cheated is to only buy coins from the most reputable dealers.

Last edited 6 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
Mark D.

A scale can definitely help, but there are probably more variables than types of coins. A St. Gaudens that’s 3 grams too heavy is certainly fake, but what if it’s 0.3 grams light? Is it worn, fake, or both? How about a tiny $1 gold princess that weighs in at 1.672 grams? A scale needs to be very precise for that one. One might check the ANA site, archives of buff sites like this one, and PCGS and NGC sites for some great articles plus tips on ID’ing fakes for many individual coins. Better yet, attend one of the big… Read more »

Kaiser Wilhelm

I can’t speak to that, but the best way to protect yourself from getting stuck with a counterfeit coin is to only do business with the most reliable and trusted of people.

sam tweedy

Chopper coin has all the fakes for you!!!!!

Kaiser Wilhelm

Ay caramba, Sam. One exclamation mark is plenty; the rest is pure overkill! 😉

Last edited 2 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm

What the article doesn’t state – and perhaps this doesn’t matter to some P.C. folks – is: where were these counterfeit coins made?

I am assuming they came from china.

Kaiser Wilhelm

You’re probably right about that, but so does just about everything you buy at Wal-Mart and Amazon these days, so that’s not exactly a very unusual distinction.

Last edited 7 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
Mark D.

And who’s buying them to resell as authentic and cheat people here in the good ol’ USA?

Kaiser Wilhelm

Were that to be taken as an actual query, there’d be cries of “Socialists, who else.”

Last edited 7 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
Mark D.

Call me anything but a Caligulist.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Or late for dinner (but not everywhere).

Last edited 6 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
Mark D.

Price-gouging Socialists?

Makes as much sense as Caligulites demanding tax-based “vouchers” they can use at parochial schools where evolution is heresy, public prayer is allowed — except for people of Islam, Jews, Wiccans and Buddhists — and St. Thomas Aquinas is a Founding Father of the United States (really, Texas!) plus, the Civil War was rigged, the last election was stolen and Democrats despoil children in the basements of pizzerias.

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Seth Riesling

Mark –

Our last “President” thinks the 1861-65 U.S. Civil War was a re-enactment by actors! Lol.
If the elections were rigged, as he believes then why didn’t Hillary become Madame President in 2016?? But he won that one so it wasn’t rigged then according to his “thinking,” but he believes the last election was rigged?! No logic, no common sense, no morals, no empathy/sympathy & no political science experience = Capitol riot/insurrection/attempted coup by the puppet master’s lackeys.
Is the U.S. Mint headquarters in D.C. secured against such an event??
Inquiring minds want to know…


Mark D.

Hear, hear, comrade Seth. And no slight intended on the TX mention, except for the TX text book selection/directives folks.

I’ve started to wonder if the effectively de-funded public schools and compromised curriculum (no art, no music, no civics, no foreign languages, no objective US or World history, etc., etc.), over the last few decades have been the result of a creeping effort to “re-align” democracy by inducing ignorance-based panic, paranoia and a despicable lust for authoritarianism.

I call it the, “Duh,” Conspiracy.

Last edited 6 days ago by Mark D.
Kaiser Wilhelm

Mark and Seth, thanks to you both for your much needed dollops of sanity, truth and good old common sense. The hordes of the not so dearly benighted have been openly salivating for a fascist theocracy ever since Caligula threw open the gates to a living hell on earth. It now behooves all non-lemmings to man (and woman) the barricades of reality, freedom, logic and science as the shrieks of ignorance and the whines of stupidity approach ever nearer. Speaking of which…

Last edited 6 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
Seth Riesling

Mark – You are right about the Texas textbook folks mess! When I was in a class called “Educational Sociology” at the University of Texas in the early 1980s, I interviewed by phone the man & wife team who were messing with factual & religious history/facts in our student textbooks for K-12 & had made national attention. I received an “A” on that term paper from my professor. The public school textbook mess in Texas continues today & I weep for the students. Maybe a required class about the science of Numismatics using the “Red Book” for high school students… Read more »

Kaiser Wilhelm

The problem with history (or herstory) is that there are as many versions of it as there are varieties of people who lived it. That being said, the only books about history (theirstory) actually allowed to be placed into American classrooms are those written by the dominant cohort, which up to now has been the old rich white men (and women, to be fair), which, and what a surprise this is, are the very same folks who have been dictating our national “history” since day one.


What if both elections were rigged lol and our current President thinks black people don’t have lawyers, apparently he missed the money Ben Crump makes from riots and 1800 ask Gary callers. To your inquiry, no I don’t believe it is. Would that fall under the definition of infrastructure?

Kaiser Wilhelm

Once Caligula ascended to the throne in 2016 the real issue became infostructure, as for the first time the concept of ignorance being power became a nationwide phenomenon. His Holy Horror’s watchwords “fake, false and rigged” managed to consume the pliable gray matter of almost half the body politic in no time at all, and we had ourselves an introduction to bloody coup attempts as a result. Even with the Tangerine Traitor now in semi-tropical exile his uncontrollable outbursts of inexorable insanity are still being fired endlessly over whatever still remains of our democratic landscape. What to do, what to… Read more »

Last edited 5 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
Kaiser Wilhelm

Just out of idle curiosity, Mammoth, what does political correctness have to do with [things coming from] China? Does that imply that PC people – of which I can guarantee you I am most certainly NOT one – are possibly pro-Red Chinese? Simply wondering.

Seth Riesling

Kaiser –

Mao Zedong is alive & well living in a cheap Vegas motel with Elvis & selling counterfeit coins on Ebay ™® & the other popular websites!! Don’t tell the Secret Service. Lol.


michael nelson

The Feds and the Acef should investigate Facebook and Google News from accepting advertisements for these fake coins,or get their listing of advertisers and bust them for selling this junk.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Let’s include Amazon, ebay and etsy in that anti-counterfeit coin campaign, michael, as those three sites are at least as chock full of offending vendors as your two candidates.

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Last edited 4 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
Seth Riesling

Kaiser & Jake & Mark –

Let’s convene a 2021 Commission of Numismatics to solve the world’s problems!! “Yes, We Can!” – (with free zinc-based Lincoln cents to all who testify before our commission!) Lol.

Happy numismatic collecting/investing/research to all!


Kaiser Wilhelm

Seth, Mark and Jake –
Or, we could sneak into the next meeting of the Bilderberg Group disguised as massive gold coins and roll happily among the multi-billion dollar tables all night.