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(The Consumerist)   Family finds $80M in gold coins in grandfather's safety deposit box. US Government: "Woah, not so fast there." *YOINK*   (consumerist.com) divider line 207
    More: Followup, U.S. Government, numismatics, gold coins, u.s. banks, grandfather  
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27570 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Sep 2012 at 2:34 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-06 12:52:21 PM
The coins were stolen from the US Government. That's why they don't belong to the family, submitter.

I don't understand how you could be so obtuse to have missed that point.
 
2012-09-06 12:57:19 PM
"The Mint meticulously tracked the '33 Double Eagles, and the records show that no such transaction occurred," the judge wrote. "What's more, this absence of a paper trail speaks to criminal intent. If whoever took or exchanged the coins thought he was doing no wrong, we would expect to see some sort of documentation reflecting the transaction, especially considering how carefully and methodically the Mint accounted for the '33 Double Eagles. The jury saw no record of a legitimate '33 Double Eagle release, and from this lack of documentation one may reasonably infer that the responsible party appropriated the coins in secret, knowing full well the wrongfulness and illegality of his actions."

This is a very stupid (the article, not the judge's ruling), even for Consumerist standards.

"My grandaddy rightfully stole those coins so they belong to me!"
 
2012-09-06 01:00:34 PM
If you find anything valuable, the last thing you do is tell somebody about it. Especially the government.
 
2012-09-06 01:06:28 PM
They should have brought them over to Rick Harrison.
 
2012-09-06 01:07:21 PM

RexTalionis: The coins were stolen from the US Government. That's why they don't belong to the family, submitter.


 
 
2012-09-06 01:08:25 PM
"The Mint meticulously tracked the '33 Double Eagles, and the records show that no such transaction occurred," the judge wrote. "What's more, this absence of a paper trail speaks to criminal intent. If whoever took or exchanged the coins thought he was doing no wrong, we would expect to see some sort of documentation reflecting the transaction, especially considering how carefully and methodically the Mint accounted for the '33 Double Eagles. The jury saw no record of a legitimate '33 Double Eagle release, and from this lack of documentation one may reasonably infer that the responsible party appropriated the coins in secret, knowing full well the wrongfulness and illegality of his actions."

Wow. Guilty unless proven innocent.
 
2012-09-06 01:09:50 PM

RexTalionis: The coins were stolen from the US Government. That's why they don't belong to the family, submitter.

I don't understand how you could be so obtuse to have missed that point.


The Consumerist is a disease that infects all who are exposed to it.
 
2012-09-06 01:11:00 PM

ecmoRandomNumbers: If you find anything valuable, the last thing you do is tell somebody about it. Especially the government.


bingo.
 
2012-09-06 01:11:24 PM
My great uncle from Germany left me a beautiful Monet painting. Some family in Israel keeps asking for it back.
 
2012-09-06 01:11:41 PM
26.media.tumblr.com

"That's why you don't leave valuables in a safe deposit box."
 
2012-09-06 01:12:37 PM

scottydoesntknow: "The Mint meticulously tracked the '33 Double Eagles, and the records show that no such transaction occurred," the judge wrote. "What's more, this absence of a paper trail speaks to criminal intent. If whoever took or exchanged the coins thought he was doing no wrong, we would expect to see some sort of documentation reflecting the transaction, especially considering how carefully and methodically the Mint accounted for the '33 Double Eagles. The jury saw no record of a legitimate '33 Double Eagle release, and from this lack of documentation one may reasonably infer that the responsible party appropriated the coins in secret, knowing full well the wrongfulness and illegality of his actions."

This is a very stupid (the article, not the judge's ruling), even for Consumerist standards.

"My grandaddy rightfully stole those coins so they belong to me!"


i105.photobucket.com
Concurs, whole-heartedly.
 
2012-09-06 01:14:41 PM

Weaver95: ecmoRandomNumbers: If you find anything valuable, the last thing you do is tell somebody about it. Especially the government.

bingo.


Yep. Especially if you have any reason at all to believe they might not be on the level.

Melt them down, take scrap value for the gold.
 
2012-09-06 01:15:42 PM

ecmoRandomNumbers: If you find anything valuable, the last thing you do is tell somebody about it. Especially the government.


If you find gold coins, you're supposed to smuggle them out of the country, then sell them.

//This post is done in humor, and not an endorsement of criminal activity.
 
2012-09-06 01:16:55 PM
Since everyone else is busting on Subby based on the actual content of the story, let me pile on here by pointing out that there's no such thing as a "safety" deposit box. It's "safe" deposit box. ("Safe" is an adjective, "safety" is a noun, so unless you somehow put your "safety" in it, it's a "safe" deposit box. Learn the difference.)
 
2012-09-06 01:24:28 PM

RexTalionis: The coins were stolen from the US Government. That's why they don't belong to the family, submitter.


img.photobucket.com
 
2012-09-06 01:29:02 PM
Had I found four coins in the box, I'd have handed ONE over for authentication.

Had I found TWENTY in the box, I might have handed over four. MAYBE.

Either the deposit box people are ragingly stupid or there are a lot more than four.
 
2012-09-06 01:31:13 PM

AdolfOliverPanties: "The Mint meticulously tracked the '33 Double Eagles, and the records show that no such transaction occurred," the judge wrote. "What's more, this absence of a paper trail speaks to criminal intent. If whoever took or exchanged the coins thought he was doing no wrong, we would expect to see some sort of documentation reflecting the transaction, especially considering how carefully and methodically the Mint accounted for the '33 Double Eagles. The jury saw no record of a legitimate '33 Double Eagle release, and from this lack of documentation one may reasonably infer that the responsible party appropriated the coins in secret, knowing full well the wrongfulness and illegality of his actions."

Wow. Guilty unless proven innocent.


I know the hatred for anything government really clouds your judgment there, but the ruling was good and not "guilty unless proven innocent".

The government's standard here, being civil and not criminal (therefore not beyond a reasonable doubt standard), is simple. They simply showed how they tracked each Gold Eagle through transaction and can account to where each coin went as standard business practices. The defendants couldn't: 1) prove the accounting method used by the government was flawed thus creating a possibility that the coins slipped through; 2) show how their ancestor obtained the coins as there were no documents of any sort and the guy never mentioned he even had them. Thus the jury said: it looks like a duck, it walks like a duck, it's yellow like ducks, it's a duck! Neither you nor your family get to keep the profits of your crimes.
 
2012-09-06 01:31:44 PM
What is interesting here is that the Government will probably have the metal melted down then they will sell the raw metal and make a few bucks off it.

It would have made more sense for them to allow this family to sell the coins, and collect the income taxes off said coins, which would be a lot more money than selling the melted raw materials.
 
2012-09-06 01:41:08 PM

Endive Wombat: What is interesting here is that the Government will probably have the metal melted down then they will sell the raw metal and make a few bucks off it.

It would have made more sense for them to allow this family to sell the coins, and collect the income taxes off said coins, which would be a lot more money than selling the melted raw materials.


They'll most likely auction them off.. Dept of Treasury does that regularly.
 
2012-09-06 01:49:28 PM

mauricecano: AdolfOliverPanties: "The Mint meticulously tracked the '33 Double Eagles, and the records show that no such transaction occurred," the judge wrote. "What's more, this absence of a paper trail speaks to criminal intent. If whoever took or exchanged the coins thought he was doing no wrong, we would expect to see some sort of documentation reflecting the transaction, especially considering how carefully and methodically the Mint accounted for the '33 Double Eagles. The jury saw no record of a legitimate '33 Double Eagle release, and from this lack of documentation one may reasonably infer that the responsible party appropriated the coins in secret, knowing full well the wrongfulness and illegality of his actions."

Wow. Guilty unless proven innocent.

I know the hatred for anything government really clouds your judgment there, but the ruling was good and not "guilty unless proven innocent".

The government's standard here, being civil and not criminal (therefore not beyond a reasonable doubt standard), is simple. They simply showed how they tracked each Gold Eagle through transaction and can account to where each coin went as standard business practices. The defendants couldn't: 1) prove the accounting method used by the government was flawed thus creating a possibility that the coins slipped through; 2) show how their ancestor obtained the coins as there were no documents of any sort and the guy never mentioned he even had them. Thus the jury said: it looks like a duck, it walks like a duck, it's yellow like ducks, it's a duck! Neither you nor your family get to keep the profits of your crimes.


I am far from anti-government. Did they government track EACH of the coins? I thought the government didn't even know these coins existed. The family tried to say the coins were obtained legally, but they could not prove it. So, they said they were innocent and had to prove it.

That's all I was really saying. No big deal.
 
2012-09-06 02:02:04 PM

AdolfOliverPanties: mauricecano: AdolfOliverPanties: "The Mint meticulously tracked the '33 Double Eagles, and the records show that no such transaction occurred," the judge wrote. "What's more, this absence of a paper trail speaks to criminal intent. If whoever took or exchanged the coins thought he was doing no wrong, we would expect to see some sort of documentation reflecting the transaction, especially considering how carefully and methodically the Mint accounted for the '33 Double Eagles. The jury saw no record of a legitimate '33 Double Eagle release, and from this lack of documentation one may reasonably infer that the responsible party appropriated the coins in secret, knowing full well the wrongfulness and illegality of his actions."

Wow. Guilty unless proven innocent.

I know the hatred for anything government really clouds your judgment there, but the ruling was good and not "guilty unless proven innocent".

The government's standard here, being civil and not criminal (therefore not beyond a reasonable doubt standard), is simple. They simply showed how they tracked each Gold Eagle through transaction and can account to where each coin went as standard business practices. The defendants couldn't: 1) prove the accounting method used by the government was flawed thus creating a possibility that the coins slipped through; 2) show how their ancestor obtained the coins as there were no documents of any sort and the guy never mentioned he even had them. Thus the jury said: it looks like a duck, it walks like a duck, it's yellow like ducks, it's a duck! Neither you nor your family get to keep the profits of your crimes.

I am far from anti-government. Did they government track EACH of the coins? I thought the government didn't even know these coins existed. The family tried to say the coins were obtained legally, but they could not prove it. So, they said they were innocent and had to prove it.

That's all I was really saying. No big deal.


I understand, but your second sentence is what the government argued. They can and did track down and trace each coin currently in existence to the mint that left in an official manner. The fact that they did not have any record whatsoever of these particular coins only strengthens the fact that they didn't leave the mint in an official manner and the family had zero evidence to disprove the government's evidence. The government didn't just make the allegation they were stolen, they had the initial burden of showing, more likely than not, the coins were stolen and provide supporting evidence to show that fact. The defendants had not evidence to demonstrate how the coins were received nor rebut (show the government was wrong somehow) the government's case. It wasn't a debate, it was a trial and the defendants showed up with nothing.

That is a far cry from guilty until proven innocent. In ALL court cases, once the plaintiff has met their burden of proof in proving their case, the burden does shift to the defendant and there is nothing wrong with that.
 
2012-09-06 02:12:36 PM

ManateeGag: They should have brought them over to Rick Harrison.


media.npr.org

"i have to get these things mounted individually - that's an extra couple hundred bucks. then i have to find buyers for them while they take up shelf space in my shop. i'm sorry; i can't go any higher than $400 for the lot."
 
2012-09-06 02:30:20 PM

FloydA:
[i105.photobucket.com image 402x402]
Concurs, whole-heartedly.


As do I .
Next time, Melt them down and take them to the UAI and sell them.
Fark the govt.
 
2012-09-06 02:35:38 PM
th03.deviantart.net
 
2012-09-06 02:37:22 PM
This is why you always leave a Federal Reserve Note.
 
2012-09-06 02:37:29 PM

mauricecano: AdolfOliverPanties: mauricecano: AdolfOliverPanties: "The Mint meticulously tracked the '33 Double Eagles, and the records show that no such transaction occurred," the judge wrote. "What's more, this absence of a paper trail speaks to criminal intent. If whoever took or exchanged the coins thought he was doing no wrong, we would expect to see some sort of documentation reflecting the transaction, especially considering how carefully and methodically the Mint accounted for the '33 Double Eagles. The jury saw no record of a legitimate '33 Double Eagle release, and from this lack of documentation one may reasonably infer that the responsible party appropriated the coins in secret, knowing full well the wrongfulness and illegality of his actions."

Wow. Guilty unless proven innocent.

I know the hatred for anything government really clouds your judgment there, but the ruling was good and not "guilty unless proven innocent".

The government's standard here, being civil and not criminal (therefore not beyond a reasonable doubt standard), is simple. They simply showed how they tracked each Gold Eagle through transaction and can account to where each coin went as standard business practices. The defendants couldn't: 1) prove the accounting method used by the government was flawed thus creating a possibility that the coins slipped through; 2) show how their ancestor obtained the coins as there were no documents of any sort and the guy never mentioned he even had them. Thus the jury said: it looks like a duck, it walks like a duck, it's yellow like ducks, it's a duck! Neither you nor your family get to keep the profits of your crimes.

I am far from anti-government. Did they government track EACH of the coins? I thought the government didn't even know these coins existed. The family tried to say the coins were obtained legally, but they could not prove it. So, they said they were innocent and had to prove it.

That's all I was really saying. No big deal.

I un ...


Ya know, my thing is: They 'meticulously' tracked down each and every coin, and only believed there to be 2 in existence. If they tracked them down and only found 2 missing, how can they prove these 10 were stolen??
 
2012-09-06 02:38:47 PM
ecmoRandomNumbers: If you find anything valuable, the last thing you do is tell somebody about it. Especially the government.

Exactly.
 
2012-09-06 02:39:04 PM
What in the wide world of coin collecting is the Consumerist asking us to wave our hands in the air about? Stealing is stealing and hiding it in a safety deposit box for 80 years doesn't confer ownership to the descendants of the original thief.
 
2012-09-06 02:40:44 PM
There may not have been the paper trails for every goddamn thing that there are today. The family should get something.
Btw trollmiter, it's safe deposit box.
 
2012-09-06 02:42:31 PM
Oh Consumerist, how I hate you.
 
2012-09-06 02:43:32 PM

HST's Dead Carcass: Ya know, my thing is: They 'meticulously' tracked down each and every coin, and only believed there to be 2 in existence. If they tracked them down and only found 2 missing, how can they prove these 10 were stolen


I wondered the same thing.

UNless they have recoprds showing these coins were created and thent heir records shwo them missing, I can't buy that they actually tracked all of them.
 
2012-09-06 02:43:46 PM
How do they account for individual coins? Were they serially numbered or did they just go "hmm Philadelphia pressed 3 million of these and we've only collected 2,999,996"?
 
2012-09-06 02:44:06 PM

HST's Dead Carcass: Ya know, my thing is: They 'meticulously' tracked down each and every coin, and only believed there to be 2 in existence. If they tracked them down and only found 2 missing, how can they prove these 10 were stolen??


They have a record of every coin made, and a record of every coin actually sold. They know some of the coins made were supposed to have been destroyed. These coins were made, but there's no record of them having been sold. Since they know the rest were supposed to be smelted, and these were neither sold nor reduced to scrap metal, there's a pretty narrow window of possible ways they could have gotten these coins, and most of it looks out on "theft".
 
2012-09-06 02:44:25 PM

RexTalionis: I don't understand how you could be so obtuse to have missed that point.


images2.wikia.nocookie.net
What did you call me???
 
2012-09-06 02:44:49 PM
So much for there always being money in the banana stand...
 
2012-09-06 02:45:06 PM

vudukungfu: FloydA:
[i105.photobucket.com image 402x402]
Concurs, whole-heartedly.

As do I .
Next time, Melt them down and take them to the UAI and sell them.
Fark the govt.


So your suggestion is to take coins worth roughly $7,600,000 each and melt them down for the $1,650 scrap value?

// One wonders how much scrap steel is in a Rolls Royce...
 
2012-09-06 02:45:20 PM

liam76: HST's Dead Carcass: Ya know, my thing is: They 'meticulously' tracked down each and every coin, and only believed there to be 2 in existence. If they tracked them down and only found 2 missing, how can they prove these 10 were stolen

I wondered the same thing.

UNless they have recoprds showing these coins were created and thent heir records shwo them missing, I can't buy that they actually tracked all of them.


What they have is records of sales and records of coins being sent to scrap. What they clearly DIDN'T have is honest people scrapping the metal.
 
2012-09-06 02:45:32 PM

ecmoRandomNumbers: If you find anything valuable, the last thing you do is tell somebody about it. Especially the government.


Our bootstrappy maverick wannabee overlords would have simply Cayman'ed them. I used to be an honest guy but the epic fiscal douchebaggery exposed in the last few years has thoroughly cynicised me..

Rmoney/rAyn 2012
 
2012-09-06 02:46:52 PM

AdolfOliverPanties: Wow. Guilty unless proven innocent.


In a court of law no less. After the whole thing was tried before a jury. And they offered up a defense.
 
2012-09-06 02:47:03 PM
Me personally, if I had any doubts about the legitimacy of my ownership claims, I would have had them authenticated by an auction house in Switzerland, the Middle East, or Asia, then sold them off there.
 
2012-09-06 02:48:13 PM
COMMENT GOLD■

"Mr_Magoo

September 6, 2012 10:53 AM

I'd be happy selling them on the black market for 8M, and then buying a carwash.


Log in to Reply



George4478

September 6, 2012 10:57 AM

My local place only charge $12 for a carwash. You're getting ripped off."
 
2012-09-06 02:48:30 PM
I love that the because the Federal Government is involved there are always going to be some people who claim this is unfair. But if the stolen item was a car, and the entity wanting it back was the car dealer, no one would be taking the side of the family.
 
2012-09-06 02:48:33 PM
Wikipedia seems to have more details on the story. But answered my question, no the coins were not serialized.
 
2012-09-06 02:49:35 PM

mauricecano: I know the hatred for anything government really clouds your judgment there, but the ruling was good and not "guilty unless proven innocent".

The government's standard here, being civil and not criminal (therefore not beyond a reasonable doubt standard), is simple. They simply showed how they tracked each Gold Eagle through transaction and can account to where each coin went as standard business practices. The defendants couldn't: 1) prove the accounting method used by the government was flawed thus creating a possibility that the coins slipped through; 2) show how their ancestor obtained the coins as there were no documents of any sort and the guy never mentioned he even had them. Thus the jury said: it looks like a duck, it walks like a duck, it's yellow like ducks, it's a duck! Neither you nor your family get to keep the profits of your crimes.




hmmmm.....
 
2012-09-06 02:49:53 PM
devildog123: Me personally, if I had any doubts about the legitimacy of my ownership claims, I would have had them authenticated by an auction house in Switzerland, the Middle East, or Asia, then sold them off there.

Exactly.
 
2012-09-06 02:49:59 PM
Could of sold them on the black market.
 
2012-09-06 02:50:26 PM

Leeds: vudukungfu: FloydA:
[i105.photobucket.com image 402x402]
Concurs, whole-heartedly.

As do I .
Next time, Melt them down and take them to the UAI and sell them.
Fark the govt.

So your suggestion is to take coins worth roughly $7,600,000 each and melt them down for the $1,650 scrap value?

// One wonders how much scrap steel is in a Rolls Royce...


Well, considering that they have gotten exactly nothing for them, and have probably spent $20,000 on legal fees, that $1,650 per coin is probably looking pretty good right now.
 
2012-09-06 02:50:53 PM

Cyberluddite: Since everyone else is busting on Subby based on the actual content of the story, let me pile on here by pointing out that there's no such thing as a "safety" deposit box. It's "safe" deposit box. ("Safe" is an adjective, "safety" is a noun, so unless you somehow put your "safety" in it, it's a "safe" deposit box. Learn the difference.)


So, 'safe' is an adjective you say...at times, yes, but I want to know if you place your valuables in a 'safety' or in a 'safe'?
 
2012-09-06 02:51:15 PM

MAYORBOB: What in the wide world of coin collecting is the Consumerist asking us to wave our hands in the air about? Stealing is stealing and hiding it in a safety deposit box for 80 years doesn't confer ownership to the descendants of the original thief.


Statue of limitations?
 
2012-09-06 02:51:17 PM

Mr Guy: HST's Dead Carcass: Ya know, my thing is: They 'meticulously' tracked down each and every coin, and only believed there to be 2 in existence. If they tracked them down and only found 2 missing, how can they prove these 10 were stolen??

They have a record of every coin made, and a record of every coin actually sold. They know some of the coins made were supposed to have been destroyed. These coins were made, but there's no record of them having been sold. Since they know the rest were supposed to be smelted, and these were neither sold nor reduced to scrap metal, there's a pretty narrow window of possible ways they could have gotten these coins, and most of it looks out on "theft".


There is a difference between knowing that "some were supposed to be destroyed" and that "these copins were supposed to be destroyed".

One of two options. Their records on how many were destroyed, sold and made are vague, or their records on how many were destroyed, sold and made are wrong. Either way in my book that alone doesn't amount to a good enough case for them being stolen.
 
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