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Ancient $410,000 Greek Coin|Was Phony, Collector Says

CHICAGO (CN) - A coin dealer charged a collector $410,000 for a phony ancient Greek decadrachm and refused to refund the money, the collector claims in Cook County Court.

Harlan Berk sued Steve Rubinger and his company Antiqua.

Berk, of Chicago, claims he paid Antiqua $410,000 for what he thought was an authentic and valuable "Athens decadrachm."

The decadrachm was an ancient Greek silver coin worth 10 drachmae, which was in circulation from 600 B.C. to 200 A.D.

After Berk bought the coin in 2009, he says, he sold it to a third party, whose name is not disclosed in the complaint.

Berk claims the buyer discovered that the coin was a "forgery" and asked for a refund.

He says he paid the refund out of his own pocket, because Rubinger and Antiqua refused to return his money.

He seeks more than $1 million in compensatory and punitive damages for fraud.

He is represented by David Novoselsky.

Rubinger, formerly president of Numismatic Fine Arts and Summa Galleries of Beverly Hills, became an independent consultant in 1992, and later formed Antiqua Inc., according to the Antiqua website.

Antiqua deals in Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Near Eastern antiquities and classical numismatics.

Rubinger told Courthouse News he would not comment on pending litigation.

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