Dominic Riccitello's ByDominicOctober 3, 2019 5:05PM
One key item that I noticed about the AHB website is that they claim that they "own or license all copyright rights in the text, images..." of the website. In other words, if I find any text or images from AHB on other websites, either they should be licensed by AHB, or illegal. I did a lot of searching, and found that a website by a company ESN Direct (owner of American Collectors Mint) was very, very similar: about 90% of the FAQ page was the same as AHB. Wow! Like AHB, ESN Direct had many BBB complaints about coins not being delivered.
Research on ESN Direct leads to a man by the name of Dominic Riccitello, who runs a website/business "By Dominic" (using Shopify, like AHB/hMint). He was involved with ESN Direct for many years, and closely related to the owner. Further research shows that someone last year registered a domain 2019goldeagle.com that has a website sending people to AHB, but has a mailing address and phone number that was used by ESN Direct. Dominic used to live about 7 miles away from the AHB mailing address, runs his current business in the same city, and used to be involved with this website selling coins online. Adding to the coincidences, one customer reported that an AHB email was signed "Brian Ricci".
What does this mean? The obvious possibility is that Dominic runs or is in some other way involved with AHB. He denies this, however. That would leave the other possibility: that AHB stole the text from a website that Dominic used to use, entered hard-to-find information about Dominic into WHOIS, and chose to run their business in the same city as Dominic. That would suggest someone going to great lengths to intentionally try to destroy Dominic's credibility.
Origins: Mountain High CoinsSeptember 26, 2019 3:45PM
I keep getting closer and closer to the source.
The American Heritage Bullion site claims to have "numismatic expertise of over 30 years." I've traced that claim back, and found that American Heritage Bullion started off as American Heritage Mint (explaining the "Mint and Bullion" references). American Heritage Mint was originally owned by Mountain High Coins of Bend, OR. Mountain High Coins told a newspaper that they "[supply]" companies like the Bradford Coin Exchange, the HSN-TV coin show and projects for clearing and catalogue houses". It looks like American Heritage Bullion bought American Heritage Mint around September, 2017.
That brings us to ESN Direct (Electronic Shopping Network). ESN Direct sold coins through cable TV shows. After dozens of complaints to the BBB, it shut down around September, 2017. And guess what? American Heritage Mint's site copied a lot of text from ESN Direct that ESN Direct claimed ownership to (meaning American Heritage Bullion likely either got permission from ESN Direct, or is violating copyright law).
I also found out that Coin Collectibles, LLC, the business name that American Heritage Mint uses, is a Delaware corporation. Unfortunately, Delaware makes it more difficult than most states to find the people behind a corporation.
Magick PlanetSeptember 21, 2019 9:55AM
It has been reported to me that the same person behind American Heritage Mint is behind Magick Planet.
I cannot find any contact information for Magick Planet (phone, address).
a/k/a HMint a/k/a The Honor MintSeptember 20, 2019 3:20PM
I have been told that The Honor Mint (hmint.com) may be related to American Heritage Mint.
Although I cannot definitively confirm it, it definitely appears to be the case. Both have a mailing address in Beverly Hills, CA; both use a private mailbox company (a UPS Store and a Postal Place) within 1 mile of each other; both use GoDaddy for their domain registration; both use GoDaddy's private registration service; both have the same hours of operation; both use Shopify. Also, HMint originally had "American Heritage Mint Bullion" in product descriptions. Both appear to be sole proprietorships (although none of the names appear as either a California corporation/LLC or Los Angeles County sole proprietorship or Los Angeles County ficticious name). Finally, HMint appears to infringe on the purported copyright rights of American Heritage Bullion.
I'm Treating as a ScamJuly 26, 2019 3:20PM
Like the law does, I assume that all individuals and business are innocent. However, I follow a "trust, but verify" philosophy here: just because I assume someone is innocent doesn't mean that I won't investigate.
In this case, after my initial research, I have decided to treating this as a scam for purposes of my investigating (in other words, I am going to keep digging). Reasons include:
Information WantedJuly 26, 2019 10:45AM
As I am getting up to speed with American Heritage Bullion, I am having troubles finding out much information -- I would like to find out the legal name they are using (e.g. LLC), physical address, owner names, etc.
You can contact me using the 'Tips' page.
Page StartedJuly 26, 2019 10:05AM
I am starting this page to track American Heritage Bullion.
They are in business, but I am strongly discouraging anyone to place an order with them (if you do, please use a credit card).
I believe that they either have serious financial problems, or are overwhelmed: in either case, they would not need more business. They did not respond to my inquiries about a customer that told me he did not receive his order.
Sources of information showing issues include:
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