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Press Release

For Immediate Release
July 9, 2003

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

Defendants Charged With Conspiracy to Sell Several Congressional Medals of Honor

Today, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Peter J. Ahearn, Buffalo Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Inspector M. Peter Goulet, Officer in Charge, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Greater Toronto Area Federal Enforcement Section, announce the July 8, 2003, arrest of Edward Fedora, age 67, charged in a criminal complaint, which will be filed today, by the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of New York; Fedora is charged with violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 704, namely the sale of a Congressional Medal of Honor. The complaint also charges Fedora with making a false statement upon entrance into the United States, namely his failure to declare the Medal of Honor upon entering this country on July 8, 2003. In addition, Fedora and his wife, Gisela Fedora, age 60, are charged with conspiracy to sell several Congressional Medals of Honor through the internet.

The FBI's Buffalo Cyber Task Force (BCTF) and the RCMP Toronto West Federal Enforcement Section commenced an investigation approximately two months ago based on an internet complaint involving the unlawful sale of a Congressional Medal of Honor.

The individual arrested yesterday is further identified as:

DOB: 11/29/1935
Address: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Edward Fedora will be arraigned today at 3:00PM before visiting Federal

Magistrate Judge Victor Bianchini on violations of the following sections

of the United States Code (U.S.C.):

  • Title 18 U.S.C. §371 - Conspiracy to violate 18 U.S.C. §704, Unlawful Sale of a Congressional Medal of Honor

  • Title 18, U.S.C. §704 - Unlawful Sale of a Congressional Medal of Honor

  • Title 18, U.S.C. §1001 (a) (2) - Material False Statement in a Matter Within the Jurisdiction of the Executive Branch of Government

The complaint alleges that the defendants ran a business over the internet which included the attempted sale of Congressional Medals of Honor which is prohibited under United States law. The complaint further alleges that on July 8, 2003, the Buffalo Division Cyber Task Force completed an undercover operation which culminated in the seizure of a dual citation Congressional Medal of Honor awarded to United States Army First Sergeant George Washington Roosevelt on August 30, 1862, and July 2, 1863. These citations were bestowed upon First Sergeant Roosevelt for heroic acts performed during the Second Battle of Bull Run and the Battle of Gettysburg. On May 28, 2003, the BCTF covertly purchased a Congressional Medal of Honor from Edward and Gisela Fedora in the province of Ontario, Canada. This medal was awarded to United States Navy Seaman Robert Blume on May 11, 1898, while serving aboard the USS Nashville near Cuba during the Spanish-American war.

The complaint also alleges that when Fedora entered the United States on July 8, 2003, he failed to declare the Medal of Honor, denying that he had anything of value when he entered through the Peace Bridge. Gisela Fedora is not in custody and has not yet appeared on the charge.

The Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, under Special Agent in Charge Peter Smith, cooperated with this investigation. Members of the BCTF which participated in the arrest included the New York State Police and the Erie County Sheriff's Office.
These matters will be prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office
for the Western District of New York in the person of Martin J. Littlefield under the direction of Michael A. Battle. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.