Melbourne coin dealer charged with $300k worth of fraud
MELBOURNE, Fla. – A downtown Melbourne coin shop owner stole money and coins from more than a dozen customers across four years, according to the Brevard County Sheriff's Office and Melbourne Police Department.
John Wentzel Kane, 63, of Melbourne, was charged Wednesday with 14 counts of grand theft, 12 counts of depositing a check with the intent to defraud, two counts of grand theft of a person 65 years old or older, racketeering, scheme to defraud, communications fraud and worthless checks.
The investigation centered around the Coins and Curiosities shop in the 1000 block of East New Haven Avenue. Melbourne police began investigating Kane last year when customers reported being defrauded by Kane. The Sheriff's Office took charge of the investigation earlier this year.
Kane's customers said they would order gold or silver coins as an investment opportunity from the business, the Sheriff's Office said. Kane would collect the full amount for the coin order from the customer but failed to deliver the coins, the Sheriff's Office said.
Kane stole nearly $300,000 through the crimes, detectives said.
Other customers said they gave Kane gold and silver coin collections to sell for them on consignment. Kane would resell the collections without paying the former owners, the Sheriff's Office said.
Kane posted $167,000 bail at the Brevard County Detention Center Thursday.
According to the store's website, Kane has operated coin stores in New York City, Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and Chicago. He's been in the field for more than 40 years.
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