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May 05, 2010

Monterey, CALIF- A state wide counterfeit coin scam hits the Central Coast costing one bushiness owner thousands of dollars. The counterfeit coin came in a case and it appeared to be certified by a reputable company. But when they opened the case they found two different coins that had been cut in half and pasted together.

Nader Agha said this is the first time he's seen a scam like this in his 40 years as a rare coin dealer, "Never before never now I don't think it would happen ever again that's why we're making a big thing out of it so that people will be aware, this is one in ten million," said Nader Agha the owner of Coin & Treasure Shoppe on Alvarado Street in Monterey.

He described buying what he thought were three mint condition U.S. Morgan Silver Dollar coins, "This gentlemen walked in with three coins they looked great I inspected them normally like I do everything else," said Agha.

The man introduced himself as Joel Silva but asked Agha to write a $4,500 check to Jose Silva, "He was ready to get me the next day for 10,000 when he saw me bring in the big scope the jewelry scope to put the jewelry under. He knew I was going to recognize what was going on and he took off," said Agha.

When Agha opened the package he realized someone meticulously altered the coins. Agha said the same scam hit other coin dealers around California, including the bay area. "I heard one of them lost $10,000 another close to $100,000 dollars." said Agha.

Agha reported the scam to the police, they called the Secret Service. No word on any arrests.