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Agents thwart sale of Medals of Honor


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#1 Kai-Petri

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Posted 20 July 2003 - 10:32 AM

7/10/2003
http://www.buffalone...710/1021416.asp


Gleaming as brightly as the days they were awarded more than 100 years ago, two Medals of Honor have been saved from the tarnish of an illegal sale for profit.
An undercover investigation by U.S. and Canadian authorities led to the arrest Tuesday of a Mississauga, Ont., resident accused of offering the medals - one related to the Civil War and the other to the Spanish-American War - for sale through eBay, an Internet marketplace.

Though the sale prices were $30,000 and $12,000, respectively, authorities said that it is about more than money.

"They have financial significance to people who know what these medals represent," Special Agent Paul M. Moskal, a spokesman for the Buffalo office of the FBI, said Wednesday. "In this instance, it goes beyond the financial value. . . . It goes to the purpose.

"It's representative of people who put their lives on the line at critical times to make this country what it is today - to protect all of our freedoms."

The Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor, is given by Congress for risk of life in combat beyond the call of duty. Selling them is illegal.

According to a spokeswoman for the Congressional Medal of Honor Society in Mount Pleasant, S.C., the federal law prohibiting sale of the medals was passed only in the mid-1990s.

"There was a company that manufactured the medals, and they manufactured several extras and sold them," said Carol Cepregi, an administrative assistant at the society. The company was prosecuted under the law.

Ironically, however, "at this point in time, it's illegal to sell it but not illegal to buy it," Cepregi said.

Edward Fedora, 67, was arrested Tuesday after he met with undercover agents in a Buffalo restaurant, allegedly to complete the sale of a Civil War-era medal awarded to a relative of Presidents Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was charged with two counts related to unlawful sale of a Medal of Honor and with making a material false statement.

The latter charge stems from his alleged failure to declare the medal when entering the United States via the Peace Bridge. According to the criminal complaint, Fedora came to Buffalo only reluctantly to complete the sale; he repeatedly expressed a preference to conduct the transaction in Canada because he didn't want to violate U.S. law.

Following an appearance Wednesday in U.S. District Court, Fedora remained in custody in lieu of $35,000 cash bail, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Martin J. Littlefield. If convicted, Fedora faces a maximum penalty of five years in jail and a $250,000 fine.

Furthermore, he and his 60-year-old wife, Gisela, are charged with conspiracy to sell several Medals of Honor through the Internet. Charges are pending against Mrs. Fedora, who is visiting an ailing brother in Germany, according to the complaint.
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#2 C.Evans

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Posted 21 July 2003 - 11:29 PM

Good thing too--glad they are stopping these from being sold.

I know of a US Civil War MoH for sale in Germany--I think the last i saw was that it was I think about $7,000--not sure--might have been higher.

All I know is that when I saw the price--my heart almost stopped beating from all the fright of seeing such a high price. :eek: :eek:

I guess it can't compare with the prices from eban.
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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