Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a coin dealer from Fort Salonga was arraigned for a $330,000 cross-country coin consignment and sale scheme that targeted coin dealers and private collectors from California, Michigan, Ohio and Long Island.
Harold Adamo, 53, was arraigned before Judge Martin Massell on four counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (a D felony), Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (an E felony) and four counts Issuing a Bad Check (a B misdemeanor). Bail was set at $100,000 bond or $100,000 cash, and the defendant is due back in court September 13. If convicted of the top count, the defendant faces a maximum of 2-1/3 years to seven years in prison.
“This defendant allegedly ran a cross-country coin consignment and sales scheme, and bilked seven customers out of more than $330,000,” DA Singas said. “Adamo allegedly took advantage of long-term business relationships and stole rare collectibles and cash. This investigation is ongoing, and we encourage anyone who may have been defrauded to contact our Financial Crimes Bureau.”
DA Singas said that from April 2017 through March 2019, the defendant was allegedly engaged in a scheme to defraud money, gold and collectible coins from individuals and businesses under the guise of legitimate coin deals.
The defendant allegedly defrauded customers in three ways: by soliciting money from clients to whom he promised rare collectible coins and not delivering them; by purchasing several coins from dealers and issuing bad checks; or by bargaining for coins under the guise of ‘promise to pay,’ referred to in the coin industry as payment upon approval, and then knowingly failing to make payments for the merchandise.
In all instances, the defendant allegedly failed to return money and property to the purchasers. At first, he made excuses and false representations and then he didn’t answer their communications.
For example, on August 2, 2018, the defendant allegedly went to an Oyster Bay-based coin dealer, with whom he had a 25-year-long business relationship, and said he had a buyer for 18 ounces of gold and an 1837 rare dime. At that time, he took the items and promised to send the dealer a check. He then returned to the store on August 29 and wrote the dealer a $37,952 check for the items. However, the check later bounced, and the defendant later stopped communications with the dealer.
In another instance, on August 13, 2018, the defendant allegedly went to a Melville-based jewelry store and purchased six Canadian Maple Leaf one-ounce coins with a check for $7,350. On August 14, 2018, the defendant allegedly went back to the store and bought 22 Krugerrand one-ounce gold coins with another check for $27,170. In both transactions, the checks bounced, and the defendant stopped communicating with the store.
The defendant allegedly scammed seven individuals or businesses out of a total of $332,222. Two victims are from California, one from Ohio, one from Michigan and three from Long Island (Melville, Oyster Bay and East Islip).
Most of the victims met the defendant through online ‘coin symposiums,’ which are chat rooms for the coin dealing community. He was also well known to coin dealers and the public through coin shows and websites.
The defendant was arrested September 10 by NCDA Investigators following an investigation which started from complaints made through the NCDA’s Criminal Complaint Unit.
The investigation continues. If you believe you may have been victimized, please contact the NCDA’s Financial Crimes Bureau at 516-571-2149.
Senior District Attorney Kathleen Swenson of DA Singas’ Financial Crimes Bureau is prosecuting this case. Legal Aid represents the defendant.
A criminal charge is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.