Mike Fuljenz Comments on Counterfeit Gold Bars Discovered in New York City
|Published: Saturday, 29 September 2012 18:19|
By Vignesh Ramachandran and NBC News
New York News | NYC Breaking News
The issue of counterfeit gold is re-emerging after a reputable merchant in Manhattan discovered he'd bought $100,000 worth of fake gold bars, WNYW reported. When merchant Ibrahim Fadl drilled into several of the gold bars he'd bought from a regular source, he discovered they were actually filled with gray tungsten.
The people who get hit are not the bigger dealers...
According to WNYW, the deception happens when a hollowed-out, real gold bar with serial numbers and papers is filled with cheaper tungsten, since it weighs nearly the same.
For merchants like Fadl, it's a costly mistake: A counterfeit 10-ounce gold bar bought for almost $18,000 ends up only being worth $3,600, WNYW reported.
NY1 News asked Fadl how he felt after he discovered the four bars he bought were fake. "Sick to my stomach, but I thank god we didn't sell this to somebody," he said.
Gold expert Mike Fuljenz told NBC News that counterfeiting like this has been going on for a long time. "The people who get hit are not the bigger dealers," Fuljenz said, since they often use machinery to detect counterfeits. However while it's easier to pinpoint counterfeits in thinner materials like coins, Fuljenz said it's more difficult with a big, thick bar.
The Secret Service, which is reportedly investigating the case, was originally founded in 1865 for the purpose of stopping the counterfeiting of U.S. currency. The agency said Wednesday they won't provide further comment.
This New York incident could be a sign of a more widespread criminal effort. Gold bars filled with tungsten were discovered in England back in March, according to WNYW.