Former Phila. police officer sentenced in thefts of coins

Posted: September 15, 2012

A retired Philadelphia policeman who worked as a U.S. Mint officer was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison for stealing $1 coins worth $2.3 million and selling them to a California distributor, officials said.

William Gray, 65, of North Wildwood, shipped the coins from a post office in Rio Grande, N.J., and a FedEx site in Egg Harbor Township, N.J., between 1996 and 2011, while employed at the mint in Philadelphia, according to U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman. Gray had previously pleaded guilty to theft of government property and failing to pay about $801,000 in taxes from the sales.

Starting in 2007, he smuggled out small bags of presidential coins that would be considered "mint errors" because they did not yet have edge lettering. The omission made them more valuable, officials said. Gray, who was a Philadelphia police officer from 1970 to 1996, deposited his profits into his Police and Fire Federal Credit Union account.

At his sentencing in federal court in Camden, Gray also was given three years of supervised release after his prison term. He was ordered to pay $15,208 in restitution and forfeit the $2.3 million.

- Darran Simon

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