Mpls. coin dealer gets prison time after bilking clients out of $3.4M

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Minneapolis coin dealer David Marion was sentenced to five years in prison Thursday for bilking his clients -- many of them elderly -- out of nearly $3.4 million, the Star Tribune reports.

Marion, the sole owner of the International Rarities Corp., was sentenced after pleading guilty in February to charges of money laundering, and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

He is also required to pay $3.37 million in restitution.

The Lake Minnetonka Patch reports that, according to court records, Marion, who lives in Excelsior, used investors' money, coins and precious metals to support his lavish lifestyle and gambling habits. He also reportedly used the currency to pay commissions and salaries, fulfill other customer orders and support his family.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil injunction action against Marion and his company in March of 2012, and he was indicted in November.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Schommer says Marion, 53, got off easy with the sentence, noting that most of his 57 victims were elderly people who lost their life savings in his schemes.

Schommer observed that there is "always more than one reason why a defendant commits a crime," but ultimately the result is the same because "victims lose money."

Sentencing guidelines called for a seven-year prison term.

U.S. District Judge Patrick Schiltz agreed that the investor losses were "huge," but took into consideration during sentencing that Marion "resisted the temptation to blame others" for the crime, the Star Tribune reports.

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