NGC filed a lawsuit against Mr. Albright early this year after being made aware of the scheme that tampered with NGC holders to sell coins misrepresented as being certified by NGC. In the scheme, coins were removed from their NGC holders and replaced with coins of a lesser grade and value. The inferior coins, which were poorly resealed in NGC holders that misrepresented their authenticity and grade, were sold to unsuspecting collectors and dealers, with the intention of profiting off of the less-valuable coins. Some of the removed coins were then re-submitted to NGC, likely in an attempt to obtain additional NGC holders and labels.
NGC’s Certification Verification tool on its website played a significant role in uncovering and halting the scheme. The Certification Verification tool contains high-resolution images of the obverse and reverse of most coins that NGC has graded and encapsulated since late 2008. The database, which includes over 33 million images of NGC-certified coins, is available online for free and is searchable by each graded coin’s NGC certification number. This industry-leading resource allowed NGC to compare the swapped coins with the original encapsulated coins, which aided NGC’s legal action against Mr. Albright.
After a months-long case and more than $100,000 invested by NGC to halt the scheme, the settlement was reached. As part of the settlement agreement, NGC’s costs will be reimbursed, and the court also issued a permanent injunction restraining Mr. Albright from any further misrepresentation of NGC-certified coins.
This follows the court’s preliminary injunction order from February 2023 that prohibited Mr. Albright from continuing to engage in activities related to the scheme. The court orders included Mr. Albright being prohibited from using NGC’s trademarks to identify coins not certified by NGC or from using false descriptions to make coins appear that they have been certified by NGC.
Additionally, the order required Mr. Albright to provide NGC with a written report that revealed all the online marketplaces where he may have sold coins as part of the scheme, as well as sales records related to coins that were misrepresented as NGC-certified. The preliminary injunction further ordered the defendant to turn over any coins in his possession that appeared to be certified by NGC and “all coins held at any point for purposes of substitution with coins” certified by NGC.
NGC’s Commitment to Protecting the Hobby
NGC is proud to uphold its commitment to the coin collecting community, as the company adheres to the highest standards within the hobby. Those seeking to abuse NGC’s hard-earned reputation as the world’s largest and most trusted third-party grading service will be pursued aggressively, as was demonstrated in the case against Mr. Albright.
In addition to taking legal action against unscrupulous individuals, NGC also provides vital financial support to various organizations, including the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation (ACEF), which has named NGC as its Official Grading Service. Since 1987, NGC has graded more than 58 million coins, tokens, and medals, each one backed by the industry-leading NGC Guarantee. Collectors can rest assured that NGC will continue to combat counterfeiters and anyone else who attempts to undermine the integrity of NGC’s world-class services.
Press release courtesy of the Numismatic Guaranty Company