For Immediate Release
Moorestown, New Jersey, Man Admits Impersonating Federal Agent, Importing Counterfeit Coins and Bars into United States
CAMDEN, N.J. – A Moorestown, New Jersey, man today admitted impersonating a federal agent while selling counterfeit coins and unlawfully importing counterfeit coins and bars into the United States, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Jonathan A. Kirschner, a/k/a “Jonathan Kratcher,” 34, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler in Camden federal court to an information charging him with one count of falsely impersonating an agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and one count of unlawfully bringing counterfeit coins and bars into the United States.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Kirschner admitted that on May 9, 2017, he sold fake gold bars to a coin collector (Victim 1) for $11,000 in cash. Kirschner wore an ATF badge on a chain around his neck and claimed to be an ATF agent in written correspondence with Victim 1 and when they met in person. Kirschner also admitted that he sold 49 counterfeit Morgan dollar coins to two people (Victims 2 and 3) in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, on June 4, 2017. Kirschner told Victims 2 and 3, “I have my badge on,” when providing descriptive information so that Victims 2 and 3 could recognize Kirschner. He admitted that he pretended to be an ATF agent to put his victims at ease in purchasing what Kirschner claimed were gold coins and bars when, in reality, the coins and bars were fake. Kirschner admitted unlawfully bringing counterfeit coins and bars into the United States by importing multiple, falsely manifested packages from other countries, including China.
The charge of impersonating a federal officer carries a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison and the charge of unlawful importation carries a maximum potential penalty of 15 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 1, 2018.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited ATF special agents, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John B. Devito, Newark Field Division; and special agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Cherry Hill Office, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Brian A. Michael, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alyson M. Oswald of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Camden.
Defense counsel: Leonard D. Biddison Esq., Haddonfield, New Jersey