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Man Sentenced in Prison for Impersonating Federal Agent

Impersonating a federal agent while selling counterfeit coins and unlawfully importing counterfeit coins and bars into the United States

CAMDEN, N.J. – A Burlington County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 126 months in prison for impersonating a federal agent while selling counterfeit coins and unlawfully importing counterfeit coins and bars into the United States, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Jonathan A. Kirschner, a/k/a “Jonathan Kratcher,” 35, of Moorestown, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler to an information charging him with one count of falsely impersonating an agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and one count of unlawfully bringing counterfeit coins and bars into the United States. Judge Kugler imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court. Kirschner has been detained since September 2018 after violating his conditions of pretrial release.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Kirschner admitted that on May 9, 2017, he sold fake gold bars to a coin collector (Victim 1) for $11,000 in cash. Kirschner wore an ATF badge on a chain around his neck and claimed to be an ATF agent in written correspondence with Victim 1 and when they met in person. Kirschner also admitted that he sold 49 counterfeit Morgan dollar coins to two people (Victims 2 and 3) in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, on June 4, 2017.

Kirschner told Victims 2 and 3, “I have my badge on,” when providing descriptive information so that Victims 2 and 3 could recognize Kirschner. He admitted that he pretended to be an ATF agent to put his victims at ease in purchasing what Kirschner claimed were gold coins and bars when, in reality, the coins and bars were fake. Kirschner admitted unlawfully bringing counterfeit coins and bars into the United States by importing multiple, falsely manifested packages from other countries, including China.

Judge Kugler also sentenced Kirschner to three years of supervised release, ordered him to pay restitution of $14,600, and ordered forfeiture of all of the counterfeit items.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited ATF special agents, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson, Newark Field Division; and special agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Cherry Hill Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian A. Michael, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Bender of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Camden.

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