Minnesota coin dealer Barry Ron Skog, who ran a mail-order company, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison on Tuesday, July 9th. He was accused of carrying out a counterfeit coin fraud scheme in multiple states. The U.S. District Court also orders Skog to pay restitution to his victims.
Going under the name of Ron Peterson, Skog devised the scheme through his mail-order company Burnsville Coin Company. He ran the scheme from June 2012 through October 2015. He also did extensive advertising in Numismatic News nationally. When he would be contacted through his advertisements, Skog would send a list of coins available for purchase via the US Postal Service. In all, there are at least 12 known victims of the scheme, through which he obtained $57,524.29. Prosecutors also indicated that he had advertised an additional 275 coins which had a sale value of approximately $235,000.
Through a joint effort of the Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau and the Burnsville, Minnesota and two members of the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation’s Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force, Skog was caught.
Skog pleaded guilty on February 21, 2019 to a single count of selling counterfeit coins and one count of mail fraud following a Minnesota federal grand jury returning a six-count indictment against Skog on April 10, 2018. As part of the plea agreement, the government agreed to dismiss four counts related to selling the counterfeit coins. He will spend 30 months in prison for his crimes.
Based on the evidence obtained during the investigation, authorities believe there may be additional victims who have not yet been identified. Anyone with information should call the Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau at 651-539-1617. Callers may remain anonymous.