U.S. Mint Officer Steals $2.4 Million in ‘Error Coins’

The coins that William Gray, a former police officer for the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, stole may not have been perfect, but they were valuable. Gray stole $1 Presidential coins from the U.S. Mint that had small errors in lettering around the edges. The small mistakes made the coins collector items, and Gray was able to cash in the error coins for $2.4 million.

But the law finally caught up to Gray, who pleaded guilty to stealing government property and tax evasion yesterday.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman did not say how Gray was caught. According to the Associated Press, Gray was freed on $50,000 bail. The former Mint officer is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 20.

Gray, 64, has been working at the US. Mint since 1996. He was selling the “error coins” to a distributor in California for a premium price.

The Mint started printing the $1 Presidential coins in 2007.

According to the Daily Mail, the Mint works on a president’s coin for three months before moving onto the next president in chronological order. In 2011, the Mint was working on coins for Presidents Johnson, Grant, Hayes, and Garfield.

A Federal Reserve report issued earlier this year found that few people are interested in the coins and that even less use them. Because of the low demand, congress may decide to end the dollar program.

Are you interested in dollar coins? What about error coins?