A Culver City man has been charged with nine counts of grand theft for selling counterfeit rare coins on eBay.
Abraham Lew Berlin, 63, used his eBay account between Sept. 21 and Oct. 11 to list 13 sealed bags supposedly containing Silver War Nickels dated between 1942 and 1945, according to the District Attorney’s office.
According to the indictment, Berlin received payments from several customers totaling approximately $87,000, but when he failed to send the coins in question, each filed claims with eBay. EBay reimbursed each customer suffering losses.
According to the DA’s office, Berlin has an extensive criminal history that includes convictions for theft, mail fraud, check fraud and fraud schemes. He pled not guilty to all charges and is scheduled to next appear in court on Nov.
According to the U.S. Mint, during World War II the five-cent coin was made of an alloy of copper, manganese, and silver. Nickel was kept aside for use in the war effort.