A federal grand jury indicted Gantcho Zagorski, a 59-year old U.S. dealer in ancient coins, on three counts of aiding and assisting in the filing of false income tax returns, the FBI announced Tuesday.
Zagorski sold ancient coins online via EBay under the name Diana Coins and Paganecoins, the indictment states. Diana Coins LLC was founded in 2008 in Hackensack, N.J., public records show. Records also list Zagorski as the owner of Balkan Import Auto Sales, Inc. in Venice Florida, where he has lived. He currently resides in Chicago, authorities said. Calls to his federal public defender attorney were not returned late Thursday.
The indictment alleges:
Zagorski owned and operated a business that sold ancient coins to domestic and international customers, primarily on eBay, from his residence in Hackensack. Zagorski, along with his wife and, at times, his daughter, operated the coin-selling business under the names Diana Coins, Paganecoins, and Diana Coins LLC. For calendar years 2006, 2007, and 2008, Zagorski provided his tax preparer with false and fraudulent information by understating the amount of gross receipts and sales earned by his business. Zagorski then caused to be filed with the IRS those federal income tax returns for 2006, 2007, and 2008 containing that false and fraudulent information.
The indictment also says that Zagorski claimed gross receipts and sales of $230,000 – $314,000 between 2006 and 2008, amounts the indictment claims were “underreported.” Each of the three tax counts carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The indictment does not address the legality of the coins he was selling. Here is the complete indictment:
It seems likely that this is a tax case rather than a stolen property case because the exact same types of coins from the exact same types of sources are openly and legally available for sale in Bulgaria. US Courts will only apply foreign cultural patrimony laws to vest title in Bulgaria if Bulgaria has a clear vesting statute that is consistently applied at home. .
In a recent interview on Cultural Property Observer blog, you recently asserted that you are a journalist, not an advocate. Is the above really anything more that ordinary and proper law enforcement colored by a subtle form of yellow journalism? Don’t misunderstand, I don’t deny your right to color it any way you like. A blog is a blog. We can all do that if we choose. But, really, let’s call a spade a spade. Would the “news hook” here have been as appealing if the accused were a professor of anthropology? I doubt it. Sounds more like advocacy than journalism to me. The reporting of facts is journalism, the ideologically inspired selection of facts to report is advocacy. Fair to do it, but not to deny it.
Wayne, there is nothing in the above account other than factual reporting. Thanks for reading.
It’s a lesson for us. Even though he has a good reputation in an auction site like EBay, it will not guarantee his business is legal and he is paying taxes gradually. We have to be a savvy buyer when doing any transaction online.