A 42-year-old Beaumont, Texas man faces up to 20 years in U.S. federal prison for orchestrating a mail fraud scheme that conned four collectors out of nearly $5.5 million USD (more than $6.9 million Cdn.).
According to an announcement made by Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston on July 12, Westley Judy Pollard Jr. was indicted by a federal grand jury earlier that month and charged with 11 counts of mail fraud. Pollard was arrested in Beaumont on July 12 and went before U.S. Magistrate Judge Zack Hawthorn for an initial appearance.
Between 2011 and 2016 Pollard worked as a numismatic salesman, and during this time, he was employed by various coin companies in Beaumont and the surrounding area, where he sold coins to individual investors.
Beginning in early 2014, Pollard began contacting prior customers and telling them he could find a purchaser for their coin collections at significantly higher prices than they originally paid. Sometimes he would also offer to get his customers’ coins re-graded to increase their value.
At Pollard’s direction, his customers would allow him to take possession of their coins so he could sell or re-grade them. Pollard directed the customers to mail the coins to him via FedEx, but in some instances he took possession of the coins directly from the customer.
FOUR CUSTOMERS, $5.5m USD
After receiving the coins, Pollard would then sell them to pawnshops or other coin retailers at significantly lower prices than the investors originally paid and without their consent, using the proceeds from the sales for his personal benefit. In connection with the scheme, Pollard convinced four collectors to send him their collections, which have a combined value of about $5.48 million USD, according to police.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher T. Tortorice.