Gold dealer is accused of financial fraud

July 26, 2009 at 10:03 PM

TAMPA, Fla., July 26 (UPI) -- A Tampa, Fla., gold and coin dealer is accused of financing a palatial home with collateral from a business loan, a spokesman for Boston's Sovereign Bank said.

Mark Yaffe, owner of the National Gold Exchange Inc., built a $25 million, 28,893-square-foot mock 17th century English manor house in 2004. The bank accused him of tapping into collateral used to secure a $35 million business loan.

In court documents seen by The St. Petersburg Times, the bank said Yaffe cashed in between $12 million and $15 million in precious coins that his company set aside as surety for the business loan.

The bank claims Yaffe cooked his company's books to conceal the exchange.

Sovereign called due the loan and a judge Friday allowed the bank to seize several million dollars in coins pending the outcome of the suit.

The Times reported the bank was tipped off to Yaffe's business dealings by David Hammer, as attorney who represents a client who once sued Yaffe.

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