A onetime St. Paul coin dealer has been charged with cheating clients, many of them elderly, out of $750,000 by accepting their money and never making the purchases.
Tiffany N. Grady, 49, was charged last week in federal court with wire fraud.
"We're going to be pleading guilty," Grady's attorney, Manvir Atwal, said Monday. "She does want to take responsibility and pay back the restitution."
Atwal acknowledged that Grady doesn't have the resources at this time to repay the victims, and that it could take years, if ever, for her to do so.
Grady, operating as the Stella Group from her home, received money from clients in order to buy coins, but failed to carry out the transactions, according to prosecutors. The alleged thefts stretched from April 2011 to August 2012.
In November 2012, Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson sued and asked for a temporary restraining order to stop Grady from selling precious metals after receiving numerous complaints from clients around the country.
"She sounds like the kindest, sweetest person. You'd want to invite her over for dinner," Jack Altomonte, a New Jersey dentist who regularly buys gold and silver, said in a 2012 interview with the Star Tribune. He said he sent Grady $21,500 in August but received nothing.
Matt Miele, corporate vice president for procurement at Ameristar Casinos in Las Vegas, said Grady took him for about $45,000 on a series of recent transactions. "She just knows her stuff and can talk the talk," Miele said.
The court action filed by Swanson's office said Grady in particular targeted a number of unsophisticated elderly buyers. One of her clients was taken for $90,000 after being promised "a good deal on gold," according to Swanson's suit.
Grady failed to respond to Swanson's suit and was ordered in May 2013 in a default judgment to repay her clients more than $520,000. Her business is no longer operating.