Merchant's tip leads to arrest of 2 N.J. men in fake coin scam by www.buffalonews.com | March 31, 2012,
Two New Jersey men suspected of being linked to a major
East Coast fake coin ring being investigated by the U.S.
Secret Service are in custody thanks to a skeptical Wehrle
Brian G. Jenkins, 53, of Irvington, N.J., and Thomas Hill,
54, of East Orange, N.J., have been held at the Erie County
Holding Center since their arrests at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday
in a rental car on Niagara Falls Boulevard.
Amherst Police Detective Herbert B. Leising Jr. said a
Wehrle Drive businessman, who police refused to identify,
called the department after one of the two men came into
his business Tuesday afternoon and offered to sell him what
he described as antique mint U.S. silver dollars and foreign
Though some of the coins Jenkins and Hill were offering
to sell — if real — would have been worth more
than $400 apiece, they offered to sell them for only $10
each, Leising said.
After the pair left the businessman, disappointed at his
refusal to take them up on what they claimed would be a
highly profitable transaction for him, he made a note of
the license plate on their vehicle and called Amherst police.
Amherst Police Officer Thomas Grillo stopped the men as
they were about to get on the Youngmann Highway. They were
arrested after an inspection of their rented 2012 Cadillac
SRX revealed 100 fake Saudi Arabian coins, more than 200
fake U.S. silver dollar coins and some fake gold jewelry,
all of which is being held by Amherst detectives.
Leising, who is leading the town investigation, said the
fact that the pair was known to be using a different New
Jersey rental car on Monday leads investigators to believe
other members of their operation may be at large in Western
The detective said police believe “there are people
who have been scammed and have not come forward either because
they don’t yet realize it or are too embarrassed to
admit” they have been bilked by Jenkins and Hill.
In addition to searching for local accomplices of the two
jailed New Jersey men, Amherst detectives are coordinating
with other area police departments to check on other businesses
that may have been approached with a similar offer.
According to police records and the Coin World Internet
site, Jenkins is under investigation for the sale of counterfeit
silver dollars in Alabama, Maryland, West Virginia, Florida,
Tennessee, Connecticut and New Jersey.
Leising said efforts are under way to see if Jenkins and
Hill are linked to an East Coast fake coin ring now under
investigation by the U.S. Secret Service and possibly allied
with Russian immigrant mobsters known to be involved in
similar scams in the New York City area.
Amherst police charged Jenkins with first-degree criminal
possession of forged instruments and traffic infractions,
and Hill is being held on a first-degree forged instrument
charge. Additional charges may be lodged against the pair,