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Error coins: Worker stole $2.4 million from US Mint

Error coins – missing some lettering – were taken and sold to dealer, Mint police officer admits in court. Error coins had nominal value of $2.4 million.

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This John Adams $1 Coin (pictured here during its release four years ago) is part of US Mint's series of presidential coins. On Sept. 8, 2011, a police officer with the Mint admitted in court that he stole $2.4 million worth of so-called error coins – presidential coins uncirculated because they were missing some letters on the edge.

United States Mint/PRNewsFoto/File

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A former police officer for the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia has admitted to stealing $2.4 million worth of "error coins" and selling them to a coin distributor in California.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman in New Jersey said 64-year-old William Gray pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges of theft of government property and tax evasion.

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Gray, of North Wildwood, N.J., had worked at the U.S. Mint since 1996. In a federal court in Camden, N.J., he admitted taking $1 presidential coins that were missing edge lettering, knowing they would be considered more valuable to coin collectors because they were considered "mint errors." He mailed them from New Jersey.

He was freed on $50,000 bail. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 20.