Romano, originally from Levittown, N.Y., is currently at the Metropolitan Detention Center Brooklyn awaiting an April sentencing in connection with his conviction on two counts of conspiring to murder government employees—a federal judge and an assistant U.S. attorney. Those two federal officials previously had prosecuted Romano for leading the coin fraud operation.
Romano pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in connection with his operation of a coin boiler room and is serving a 15-year sentence. He also was forced to pay $7 million in restitution. The additional April sentencing would only add to his jail time.
(Read more: Conn. man sentenced for fraud of church, investors)
Romano's lawyer, Michael Bachrach, said in a statement emailed to CNBC: "We argued at trial that Joseph Romano was entrapped. There is no question we proved he was set up by an informant working for the government." Bachrach added he will appeal the charges that Romano targeted federal officials.
Why the coin scam business is a growing problem
According to an Investor Alert issued by New York's attorney general, there are up to 20 million investors in coins. And fraudulent coin dealers are a growing problem.
Doug Davis, the founder of the Numismatic Crime Information Center, which tracks coin crime, told CNBC that with volatility in the metals market, he's been seeing a rise in coin fraud during the past three years.
In fact, according to the New York attorney general, many unscrupulous brokers—who are barred from selling stocks and bonds—turn to selling coins. One specific form of fraud is dealers placing a higher, false grade on coins to command high prices.
Romano was part of this coin fraud underworld, and his fraud scheme finally came crashing down in 2008, when he was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud related to falsified coin values. He was released in November of that same year on bail, with the condition that he avoid telemarketing.
And while out on bail, Romano followed a unique path of trying to actually recreate his fraudulent coin empire, prosecutors say.
Romano: Livin' large behind bars
Romano set up another coin business in Florida with neighbor Dejvid Mirkovic, according to prosecutors. "They told me don't get involved with telemarketing. I went out right? ... I went out on bail. I built another company. In one year I made $1.3 million," Romano bragged to a fellow federal inmate. That's according to one of several secret video recordings from prison that CNBC has obtained.
Romano eventually was caught for running the fresh coin operation, and prosecutors revoked his initial 2008 bail.
But even with Romano back behind bars, his neighbor and partner Mirkovic kept the coin business running, sending money to help Romano live large behind bars. "I pay someone to do my laundry. I get three different commissaries," Romano said in a recorded phone call with Mirkovic that CNBC has obtained.