A New Jersey man has been sentenced to three years in prison for stealing more than $2 million in error coins from the U.S. Mint and selling them.

William Gray of North Wildwood had previously pleaded guilty to theft of government property and tax evasion.

Authorities say the 65-year-old Gray, a 14-year veteran of the U.S. Mint Police, smuggled coins with defects out of the mint in Philadelphia. He sold the error coins to a distributor in California who specialized in imperfect currency and received $2.4 million for them.

Most of the coins Gray sold were presidential dollar coins with missing edge lettering. Gray was initially paid $20 per coin, but eventually netted $70 to $75 per coin.

In addition to his prison sentence Gray must forfeit $2.3 million.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)