COLONIE, N.Y. – Colonie Police have arrested two men accused of selling counterfeit gold coins.
Sungwook Hong, 33, of St Fresh Meadows and Yohann Pyon, 26, of St. Bayside face charges of felony criminal possession of a forged instrument in the first and second-degrees, attempted grand larceny in the third-degree, and criminal possession of controlled substance in the fifth-degree. Hong faces an additional charge of grand larceny in the third-degree and criminal possession of a forged instrument.
The police department was contacted in May by a victim who had answered a Craigslist posting that offered 1 oz. American Gold Eagle coins. The victim met one suspect and bought 12 coins for $14,000 after being told a local jeweler had tested the coins for gold.
After the purchase, the victim had the coins re-checked and discovered the coins had enough of a gold coating to pass a cursory test, but were in fact counterfeit.
When investigators discovered the Craigslist posting was active again, a Colonie Police investigator made contact with the suspect and agreed to purchase 10 coins for $12,000 on June 5, in the parking lot of Hoffman’s Playland.
The original suspect, Hong, and an additional suspect, Pyon, arrived and met with the undercover investigator. After seeing the counterfeit coins and agreeing to the sale, the suspects were arrested without incident.
An additional 16 counterfeit coins, 6 vials of Ketamine, counterfeit New Jersey Driver’s Licenses and a scale and micrometer used in the sale of coins were located in the defendant’s vehicle.
Authorities say the duo indicated that they were involved in approximately ten similar sales of the counterfeit coins in New York and surrounding states, and that the coins were obtained over the internet from China.
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