Bogus 9/11 Coins: US Seller Settles Claims

A US company selling 9/11 commemorative coins that purportedly contained silver from Ground Zero has agreed to pay \$750,000 (£473,000) to settle charges that it deceived consumers.

The National Collector's Mint was accused in a Federal Trade Commission complaint of failing to properly identify its coins and of charging customers for items they never ordered.

The company, based in Port Chester, New York, sells 9/11 coins and other memorabilia.

The coins featured images from the World Trade Centre and the USS New York, a ship partially forged from the steel salvaged from  the 9/11 attacks, according to reports.

In 2010, the US government created an official 9/11 medal, with proceeds going towards a museum being built at the World Trade Centre site.

A statement by the FTC said the National Collector’s Mint had "agreed to pay \$750,000 to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it deceived consumers, charged them for items they never ordered, and failed to properly mark its imitation items with 'COPY'."

New York senator Charles Schumer and representative Jerrold Nadler complained the National Collector's Mint's coins could deprive the museum of funds.

Mr Schumer said the US would not tolerate a "despicable scam".

Sheldon Lustigman, a lawyer representing the company, described the complaint as "ridiculous".

"There was no confusion of any kind whatsoever," he told the New York Post. "We don't think anybody was at all mislead.

"It's the old story of the (US) Mint not liking competition - that's what it really amounts to."

He said the National Collector's Mint had put out its commemorative 10th anniversary 9/11 coin long before the US Mint issued its own version, and that the two coins look nothing alike.