Lewes couple accused of selling fake gold

LEWES — A Lewes couple was arrested for allegedly selling counterfeit gold bars and coins to victims throughout Sussex County, police said Tuesday.

On Oct. 24, Delaware State Police said detectives from the Financial Crimes Unit initiated an investigation after alleged victims came forward and reported two suspects selling counterfeit gold bars and coins in Sussex County.

After conducting interviews and examining evidence it was revealed that Paul Micaletti, 41, and Heather Micaletti, 34, both of Ocean View, had allegedly sold more than $35,000 in counterfeit gold to victims who thought they were purchasing legitimate gold bars, police said.

Police said the investigation found that persons had discovered the sale of these gold bars on an Internet sales site where private sellers buy and sell various items. On July 31,  one person met with the suspects in Lewes to purchase gold bars for more than $1,700, police said.

Pictured is evidence seized regarding alleged selling of counterfeit gold bars and coins throughout Sussex County. (Submitted photo/Delaware State Police)

Pictured is evidence seized regarding alleged selling of counterfeit gold bars and coins throughout Sussex County. (Submitted photo/Delaware State Police)

During the exchange the buyer had the suspects sign and date a hand receipt stating the gold bars were legitimate, police said. Mr. Micaletti also reported that his father-in-law had passed away and that the gold bars and coins belong to his estate, police said. After these gold bars were sold, the investigation found Mrs. Micaletti allegedly wanted to sell more of her counterfeit gold bars, according to authorities.

Paul Micaletti

Paul Micaletti

During the probe it was revealed Mr. Micaletti provided buyers with a copy of a fake invoice from a mint shop, police said. The invoice was for more than 100 units of what was believed by buyers to be gold bars purchased by his father-in law for more than $38,000, police said.
In October 2016 another person then purchased more gold bars in the amount of more than $8,000. The buyers made a combined purchase of counterfeit gold bars and coins for over $35,000, police said.

During the investigation the gold bars and coins were appraised and tested, police said. It was determined the gold bars were all counterfeit, according to authorities.

Last Thursday, search warrants were served by the Delaware State Police Financial Crimes Unit with the assistance of the Ocean View Police Department which resulted in the apprehension of both suspects and the seizure of additional counterfeit gold bars, authorities said.

Heather Micaletti

Heather Micaletti

Mr. Micaletti and Mrs. Micaletti were arrested at their residence without incident and transported to Troop 4 in Georgetown. Charges include 38 counts of first-degree forgery, two counts of theft by false pretense over $1,500,  and second-degree conspiracy. Both were arraigned before Justice of the Peace Court 3 and released on $20,500 unsecured bail.

Delaware State Police issued a reminder to citizens to be cautious when purchasing items from individuals or Internet sites in which the validity of the product and the security of the purchase could be in question.

This incident remains under investigation and police askeanyone with information on this incident or who has had similar transactions to contact Detective T. Shockley at 752-3812 or Troop 4 at 856-5850.

Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword “DSP” or online at www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com.

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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