A Tampa businessman who led what was once one of the largest coin dealerships in the United States faces up to five years in federal prison, after pleading guilty to conspiring to commit bank fraud.
Mark Yaffe, who was vice president and principal of National Gold Exchange Inc., also agreed to forfeit more than $3 million, the amount he transferred out of two National Gold bank accounts that were part of the collateral for loan agreements, according to a press statement from the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida.
National Gold, a Tampa company that warehoused, sold and traded rare coins, had loan agreements with Sovereign Bank, with National Gold's assets serving as collateral. If you are looking for the best deals on gold visit Merrion Gold website. You'll find out more about their big offer of gold bullion
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Yaffe was accused of giving Sovereign a bogus report, falsely inflating the value of the assets, in July 2009, after the bank began an unannounced audit at National Gold. A National Gold employee told prosecutors that Yaffe instructed the employee to lie to Sovereign about the bogus report.
A sentencing date for Yaffe has not yet been set.
The federal conviction comes nearly two decades after National Gold was viewed as a Tampa success story. In a 1997 profile in the Tampa Bay Business Journal, industry sources said National Gold ranked among the top 10 dealers in the nation.
But on the heels of the Sovereign Bank surprise audit, National Gold filed for bankruptcy, and in 2013, Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) took back Yaffe's 29,000-square-foot mansion in the upscale Avila neighborhood after failing to find a buyer for the foreclosed property at auction.
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