Longview man guilty in counterfeit silver scheme

Longview man guilty in counterfeit silver scheme

From the U.S. Attorney's Office:

TYLER, TX – A 47-year-old Longview, Texas man has pleaded guilty to federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

James Leroy Frattarola pleaded guilty to possessing counterfeit silver bars with the intent to defraud another today before U.S. Magistrate Judge K. Nicole Mitchell.

According to information presented in court, on Sep. 13, 2013, Frattarola possessed approximately 90 one-ounce silver bars, stamped with the impression, ".999 FINE SILVER" and "NORTHWEST TERRITORIAL MINT" with intent to defraud another. Frattarola admitted to possessing the counterfeit bars in Longview, Texas and to engaging in similar criminal conduct on other occasions involving a total of nine victims. Frattarola was indicted by a federal grand jury on Oct. 23, 2013.

Frattarola faces up to 15 years in federal prison at sentencing. He must also submit to forfeiture of the sized bars and over 100 counterfeit coins. Frattarola will also be ordered to pay a total of $28,720.40 in restitution to be divided among nine victims. A sentencing date has not been set.

This case is being investigated by the Longview Police Department, the Kingsville Police Department, the Grand Prairie Police Department, the Brazoria County Sheriff's Office, and the U.S. secret Service and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Noble.