The E-Sylum:  Volume 8, Number 45, October 23, 2005, Article 3


On Wednesday, October 19, reported
that "A New York court has ordered the promoters of the "9/11
Freedom Tower" coin scam to pay nearly $370,000 in penalties...

New York Supreme Court Justice Thomas McNamara ordered
National Collectors Mint (NCM) to pay civil penalties totaling
$369,510 in connection with its marketing and sale of its "Freedom
Tower Silver Dollar." The company has already refunded more
than $2 million to consumers who fell for the scam."

"In September 2004, NCM began an extensive advertising
campaign for the "Freedom Tower" coin on television, in
magazines and on its website. The ads depicted the coin as
a "legally authorized government issue silver dollar" and as
a "U.S. territorial minting" from the Commonwealth of the
Northern Mariana Islands.

In fact, the coin is not a government-issued silver dollar at all,
but was manufactured and issued by a private company. The
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands uses U.S.
currency and is not authorized to mint legal tender."

The ads also claimed that the coin was made of pure silver
from silver bars recovered at Ground Zero during recovery
operations. Spitzer’s lawsuit showed, however, that the
medallion is not made of pure or solid silver, but is an
inexpensive metal alloy plated with approximately one
ten-thousandth of an inch of silver valued at approximately
1.4 cents.

The question of whether the silver used in the medallion is
actually from Ground Zero was not involved in the lawsuit."

To read the full article, see: Full Story

To read a related Association Press article in Newsday, see: Full Story

Dick Johnson writes: "A chill descended over medal manufacturers
and medal publishers this week as the New York State Supreme
Court fined a Westchester, NY, firm $369,510 for its "Freedom
Tower Dollars" it issued following 9/11. The firm claimed the
collectors’ items were a $39 item which it offered to the public
at $19.95.

Two salient points were brought out in the trial by New York
Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. In addition to false advertising,
it also proclaimed the pieces offered were "worth less than a
penny and a half in metal." The latter point should not have been
considered. Is there five cents worth of paper in a $75 textbook?

Customers of the National Collector's Mint Inc., based in Port
Chester, New York, ordered the medals based on their design
and event commemorated. Once the state nannies stepped in
and publicized the value of the METAL in the medals, their
interests in the pieces were shaken. One out five of those who
purchased the collectors’ item sought refunds.

This writer emailed the firm asking for the quantity sold and
the number redeemed. By week’s end the firm had not answered.
 From other published sources I have learned sales were
approximately $11 million on 550,000 pieces sold; $2.2 million
on 110,000 pieces redeemed (or orders canceled).

The company claimed the coin was a "U.S. Territorial Minting"
from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, but
the islands use U.S. currency and are not authorized to mint
legal tender. ... "Most importantly, each coin has been created
using .999 pure silver recovered from ground zero!"

"The fact that the silver used was recovered at Ground Zero
after 9/11 was not challenged by the attorney general, nor
was it questioned in any finding by the court."

Earlier in E-Sylum (vol 8 no 31) July 17, 2005, when this
law suit was announced, I stated my opinion in an item titled
"Save Me From the "Do-Gooders." The nanny state of New
York is now emboldened to determine what can be stated
when a new medal is issued – and you better not make too
much profit!"

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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