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Coin Shop Owner Sentenced in Theft

The owner of a defunct Inglewood coin shop--once one of the nation’s largest--was sentenced Wednesday to four years in state prison for stealing $380,000 from 17 customers.

Jonathon Hefferlin, 43, of Mandeville Canyon was originally charged with 34 counts of grand theft, but Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert T. Altman, who presided over a non-jury trial, acquitted Hefferlin of 17 of the charges in March.

Altman gave Hefferlin until July 8 to raise the $100,000 bail that he must post to remain free pending an appeal.

Hefferlin’s shop, Jonathon’s Coins Inc., rode a boom in precious metals in the late 1970s, recording more than $400 million in annual sales before filing for protection under federal bankruptcy laws in 1981.

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Hefferlin was convicted of taking money from customers but failing to deliver the coins they had purchased. About 1,000 people lost as much as $7 million when Hefferlin’s business folded, authorities have said.


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