Arizona woman accused of scamming NY women with $1M coin scheme

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NEW YORK (AP) -- A broker of rare coins was indicted Tuesday, accused of convincing an octogenarian and her daughter to invest their life savings in rare coins then stealing more than $400,000 worth of the collectibles.

Stephanie Brown, 44, pleaded not guilty in Manhattan to charges including burglary, grand larceny and securities fraud. The Paradise Valley, Ariz., resident was ordered held without bail.

Prosecutors alleged that Brown targeted an 83-year-old woman and her 56-year-old daughter, taking advantage of their fears of a financial collapse. They said Brown convinced the women their savings of more than $1 million would be safer in coins, then falsely told them the coins could be confiscated if they were kept in a bank safe deposit box.

Once the coins were out from under lock and key, Brown won entry into the women's home by claiming that she would help organize the collection, prosecutors alleged. Instead, she allegedly destroyed documents and walked out with about $430,000 worth of coins, then set up a business in Arizona selling coins of the same type as the ones taken from the two women.

Brown's attorney, Paul Scott Feinman, didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

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