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Former National Gold Exchange Head Going to Jail

Krag

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#1
TAMPA — Mark Yaffe is a great guy, 21 witnesses said in federal court Friday.

Yaffe, a once-wealthy gold coin dealer, raised money for autistic children and assisted living homes. He mentored homeless teenagers, even taking them into his home for months so they could get on their feet and apply themselves in school with newfound diligence.

But good deeds only go so far when you plead guilty to defrauding a bank of more than $3 million.

“You truly have been a wonderful person and an asset to this community,” said U.S. District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell, just before she sentenced Yaffe to 20 months in federal prison.

Honeywell did give Yaffe credit for his history of good works, reducing his sentence from the range of 37-46 months recommended in a pre-sentencing report. The judge also agreed, at the defendant’s request, to recommend that the sentence be served at a federal prison in Pensacola.

But the judge said it would not be right to grant Yaffe’s request that he serve one year of house arrest followed by three years of probation.

“It was a serious offense and it involved a significant amount of money - over $3 million,” Honeywell said.

In addition to the prison time, Yaffe, 55, has to pay restitution of $3,049,581 to Sovereign Bank. That’s the amount he is accused of removing from the accounts of National Gold Exchange, a north Tampa company he owned with his brother Alan.

The money was transferred to third parties, court document say, at the same time the company filed for bankruptcy in July 2009. Sovereign Bank was NGE’s largest creditor and had seized the company’s assets after an audit showed several problems, including missing coins and faulty accounting.

The bank was unable to sell the assets because Yaffe had filed for bankruptcy. In March 2010 a judge converted Yaffe’s bankruptcy filing from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7, forcing National Gold Exchange into liquidation.

But on Friday, one of the witnesses asking that Yaffe not be imprisoned was Laureen Galeoto, an attorney representing Sovereign Bank. Galeoto said Yaffe has been cooperative and is trying to compensate the bank. So far, he has paid back $300,104.

“We would like to see a sentence that would allow him to continue to work and continue to make good on these restitution payments to us,” Galeoto said.

Several witnesses testified to Yaffe’s professional reputation as national expert on gold and silver coins. Bill Calderazzo, a retired coin dealer who has known Yaffe since the early 1980s, said he ranked the defendant in the top 10 gold coin dealers in the country.

“He has a knowledge of rare coins you rarely see in anybody,” Calderazzo said.

Phoenix Gold, Yaffe’s latest company, is a powerful player in the rare coin industry, though only six employees work there, Calderazzo said. Yaffe buys all the coins and sells two thirds of them.

Lee Sanders, who handles the gold department at Heritage Galleries in Dallas, said the company would hire Yaffe if he was available and pay him between $250,000 and $500,000 a year.

Before the bankruptcy, Yaffe had built National Gold Exchanges into one of America’s leading gold coin dealers. He and his wife, Christel Yaffe, bought a mansion in the exclusive Avila neighborhood. Yaffe held galas at his home to benefit St. Joseph’s Hospital and Hillsborough Community College, witnesses said.

But U.S. Department of Justice Trial Attorney Tim Loper used Yaffe’s wealth to make a point: He didn’t have to steal money from the bank. After Hazzan Jody Sever Lever, pastor at Yaffe’s synagogue, testified about the defendant’s virtues, Loper asked if she knew Yaffe owned Porsche and Mercedes automobiles, two boats and two personal watercraft. Loper also said Yaffe had set up a $7 million trust fund for his family in November 2012, well after the bankruptcy.

“Those were assets he could have used to pay back creditors,” Loper said.

Yaffe is to report to prison on Jan. 8.
http://www.tbo.com/news/politics/once-wealthy-coin-dealer-sentenced-for-fraud-20151204/
 

GOLDBRIX

God,Donald Trump,most in GIM2 I Trust. OTHERS-meh
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#2
So much for "GOOD DEEDS" needed to go to Heaven. "Faith the size of a mustard seed..." is what JESUS said. All the "Good Deed" writings came from apostles and his brother James.

This guys good deeds still gets him a 20 month vacation a The BoP Hotel Gray Bar.
 

GOLD DUCK

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#3
QWAK,If you are in debt to the bank 300K the bank owns you.:bawling:

If you are indebt to the bank 3 mill ---- you own the bank!:thumb.aspx:

the DUCK :s11:
 

JayDubya

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#4
Sounds to me like he had a touch of guilt about being a no good, lousy, rotten thief. Se he justified it, in his own mind, by becoming a modern day Robin Hood.

He gets zero sympathy from me
 

SilverBuyer

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#5
Sounds to me like he had a touch of guilt about being a no good, lousy, rotten thief. Se he justified it, in his own mind, by becoming a modern day Robin Hood.

He gets zero sympathy from me
No doubt he is a thief, he set up a 7 million dollar trust fund but can't pay back 3 million?

However, does it make sense to send him to jail when the only injured party (at least according to the article), doesn't want him to go to jail? (sovereign bank who he owes 3 million dollars too)

If he's really a bad guy then he should get a hell of a lot more than 20 months. If he isn't such a bad guy and there is no injured party that wants to see him in prison why bother with giving him any time at all?
 

Usury

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#6
That's crazy...just liquidate the trust to repay the debt??? What's wrong with the judge? What's wrong with the defendent!!!????
 

SilverBuyer

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#7
That's crazy...just liquidate the trust to repay the debt??? What's wrong with the judge? What's wrong with the defendent!!!????
Apparently you can steal a bunch of money, set up a trust in your families name and it's untouchable? Clearly that is messed up but its what seems to have occurred.

Loper also said Yaffe had set up a $7 million trust fund for his family in November 2012, well after the bankruptcy.

“Those were assets he could have used to pay back creditors,” Loper said.