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Trial alleges $11.2 million shift

Some major accusations came out during the third week of former Ohio coin dealer Thomas Noe?s Ohio criminal trial.

Prosecutors allege that two days before Ohio authorities seized Noe?s assets after executing a search warrant in 2005, he transferred more than $11.2 million in rare coins out of the state-funded investment he managed, according to Scott Clark, the fraud investigator involved who testified.

Clark said he found six invoices written on May 24, 2005, involving the movement of coins to Noe?s business, Vintage Coins and Collectibles, in Maumee, Ohio, and to Noe himself. The invoices were marked ?return to owner,? but the coins were gone when investigators gained access to the store two days later.

Noe, 52, former owner of Vintage Coins and Collectibles in Maumee, Ohio, has pleaded innocent to 44 felony counts for alleged embezzlement from a $50 million rare-coin investment fund he managed for Ohio?s Bureau of Worker?s Compensation. Prosecutors allege that he used state money for his own personal and business concerns and used fraudulent records to cover it up. They also allege that he used coins that he didn?t own to provide false records to the state of the fund?s profits.

Several contractors testified that they did hundred of thousands of dollars of work on Noe properties and were paid by checks from Vintage. The Vintage records showed the checks were for coin purchases, but all the contractors said they never sold coins to Vintage or Noe.

An 1861 Paquet $20 gold coin worth $2 million was listed as part of Noe?s inventory in a company he established for the coin fund, Capital Coin Fund II. But testimony was given that coin dealer Greg Roberts sold it to another dealer, John Albanese, who then sold it to dealer Brian Hendelson. But in the years that those three men owned it, the coin remained on Capital Coin Fund II inventories, prosecutors said.

Robert Lecce of Florida testified that he had one sale to the Capital Coin Funds for $67,500. Yet, the company?s records show Lecce sold $3 million in coins to it.

The defense countered that there is no evidence that Noe physically entered records into computers himself and that much of it was done by Noe?s former vice president, Tim LaPointe. LaPointe has been charged with falsifying records, but was expected to testify for the prosecution against Noe.

Noe had already been convicted on federal charges and was sentenced Sept. 12 to 27 months in federal prison for laundering $45,400 into President Bush?s 2004 re-election campaign.

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