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(PJ Media)   That couple that found $10 million in gold coins? They might not lose 50% to the government. They might lose all of it to the government -- except for a 25% finder's reward   (pjmedia.com) divider line 70
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16342 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Mar 2014 at 6:50 AM (20 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
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2014-03-04 06:54:16 AM
19 votes:
Or they could have laid low and cashed them in one at a time but they had to be attention whores.

Duh.
2014-03-04 06:54:39 AM
10 votes:
dumbasses for saying anything
2014-03-04 06:56:55 AM
9 votes:
Two words: "Prove it."
2014-03-04 07:01:09 AM
8 votes:
This is why silence is truly golden.
2014-03-04 06:55:24 AM
6 votes:
That's what happens when you advertise your good fortune!

Government taketh away!
2014-03-04 07:23:52 AM
4 votes:

TerminalEchoes: Satanic_Hamster: Don't click on derp cites.

Like Salon, MSNBC, Think Progress, NPR, and Mother Jones? I don't.


As a general rule, if a website's ads are telling you to buy gold because gold's price never falls  even after the price of gold tanked in 2012 and 2013, it's because they think you're an idiot who will believe anything they tell you.

For example:  Democrats are the real racists in American politics.  That's what I have you farkied as.
2014-03-04 07:17:31 AM
4 votes:
Write the Feds a check for $28,000 and be done with it.
2014-03-04 07:12:06 AM
4 votes:
Find treasure.

Step 1: move said treasure out of USA to a country known for protecting it's banking customers (you can afford it now)
Step 2: move your family and assets out of the USA to a country where you can live like emperors till the day you die (that are unlikely to cooperate with US authorities
Step 3: obtain citizenship in new country, and renounce US citizenship
Step 4: with the loudest voice you can muster (no posting on the net) say:

static.planetminecraft.com

Step 5: Enjoy your new life and fortune.
2014-03-04 07:03:37 AM
4 votes:
Those coins are so rare I doubt that one could sell them at all without drawing attention.
2014-03-04 07:48:37 AM
3 votes:

dready zim: Melt it down. Then you just have a load of gold that cannot be traced back to an owner. Turn it into nuggets. Throw the gold onto the ground molten to mae nuggets and say you found the nuggets like that to the guy who is buying it without any questions...


Brilliant!

Turn $10M in gold into $48k in gold because if you don't, you may only get $2.5M in cash.  Possibly.

/you should run a seminar
2014-03-04 07:33:56 AM
3 votes:
So far this looks like a little internet laywering to me.

But here's the rules on stolen items, there is a statute of limitations on the charges, but if the original owner is known then they or their descendents are still the legal owners.

For example, if they could prove that this money was stolen from (for arguments sake) a timber/shipping/mining/whatever baron, their family would still be the rightful owners.


And as said, they still get 2.5 mil.
In this case, the original owner seems to be the US goverment.
2014-03-04 10:46:49 AM
2 votes:
The $10 million value is mostly numismatic premium.  These coins are worth a lot less as bullion, but still quite a bit of money.  I would have melted down the entire pile.  Sounds to me that the farkers who found the coins got royally farked by a coin dealer who set them up.  Having been a coin collector, I can tell you from experience that I've never run into a coin dealer who wasn't a complete and total scumbag.
2014-03-04 08:24:47 AM
2 votes:

GoldSpider: Two words: "Prove it."


Yep. The government likely can't prove that they are the stolen coins, so it's just a nifty theory.

I had guessed that they were stolen, but I thought it was a mine's payroll that got knocked over, not the SF mint.
2014-03-04 08:11:11 AM
2 votes:
A couple of people have said it upthread, but bears repeating:

If you come into a bunch of money, a) shut up, b) get a lawyer, c) shut up.
2014-03-04 07:53:12 AM
2 votes:

Nuclear Monk: Rhino_man: Harlow_B_Ashur: Write the Feds a check for $28,000 and be done with it.

And if they're smart, they'll hire a lawyer that will be able to argue exactly that.  $30,000 in currency was stolen.  $30,000 in currency was returned.

Hell, they could even return it  adjusted for inflation and only have to cut a check for about $900k

That's what I was just calculating too.  Seems like that would be a reasonable argument to make.


To which, I'm sure, the Government would argue that the physical stolen property itself is what must be returned.  The finder's lawyer would surely then argue that the actual currency stolen only needs to be held by the government when used as evidence in a criminal trial against the thief, and since the thief is CLEARLY dead, a return of equivalent face value after inflation should suffice.

It's murky on both sides, and it would depend on the judge if it came to that... but I'm sure most judges would be sympathetic to the finders and agree to the $900k figure.
2014-03-04 07:52:21 AM
2 votes:

Maledeus: Should have melted it all down and made non-descript bars...


dready zim: NEVER tell anyone you just found a load of gold.

Except me of course. I`ll buy it off you for a good price.

Melt it down. Then you just have a load of gold that cannot be traced back to an owner. Turn it into nuggets. Throw the gold onto the ground molten to mae nuggets and say you found the nuggets like that to the guy who is buying it without any questions...

Once you have the cash in your hand and can afford a good lawyer THEN say "Look at MEEEEEEE! I`M AN ATTENTION WHORE!!!".


Except the 25% finders fee is probably going to be far more than the melt value of the entire horde.
2014-03-04 07:42:12 AM
2 votes:
Should have melted it all down and made non-descript bars...
2014-03-04 07:32:34 AM
2 votes:
upload.wikimedia.org
LOL
2014-03-04 07:30:55 AM
2 votes:

BiffDangler: HindiDiscoMonster: Step 1: move said treasure out of USA to a country known for protecting it's banking customers (you can afford it now)

That's a lot more difficult than you think


www.moillusions.com

Just make sure to package it as a coin collection would be packaged first in case of inspection... send it right to the bank (whom you have made prior arrangements with).


/NSA disclaimer: Information is provided here for entertainment purposes only. This information is not intended to be used in any way to defraud the US Government or any entity therein.
2014-03-04 07:24:12 AM
2 votes:

Do they get $2.5 million finder fee and then get taxed on that? That is what I would expect of the IRS.


Two things you keep your mouth shut about: finding money and sex with your teacher.

2014-03-04 07:22:22 AM
2 votes:

Harlow_B_Ashur: Write the Feds a check for $28,000 and be done with it.


Heh.... except that is what the Feds will base the 25% finder's fee off of.

The couple will end up with $7,000 in the end.
2014-03-04 07:21:44 AM
2 votes:
So the coins were stolen 100 years ago.   What's the statute of limitations for grand theft?
2014-03-04 07:20:15 AM
2 votes:

Satanic_Hamster: Don't click on derp cites.


Like Salon, MSNBC, Think Progress, NPR, and Mother Jones? I don't.
2014-03-04 07:13:38 AM
2 votes:

Cybernetic: The longer I live, the more I learn the value of keeping my mouth shut.

That said, a 25% finder's reward is still $2.5 million, which isn't bad considering all that they did was stumble across some old cans while they were walking their dogs.


it only hurts a little if they rape rape you a little?
2014-03-04 07:11:47 AM
2 votes:

Cybernetic: The longer I live, the more I learn the value of keeping my mouth shut.


and lawyer up
2014-03-04 07:04:20 AM
2 votes:
Don't click on derp cites.

This actually a likely outcome, or are a bunch of internet lawyers going through random statutes and theorizing?
2014-03-04 07:01:50 AM
2 votes:
Sucks to be them, but what did thry think would happen when they went blabbing to the press about it? You really think our gub'ment is gonna pass on $10 million in gold?
2014-03-04 07:01:31 AM
2 votes:

Life_is_a_carnivore: Or they could have laid low and cashed them in one at a time but they had to be attention whores.

Duh.


That's probably the route I'd have gone down as well. Or at least have kept half the hoard secret when I went public with the other half.
2014-03-04 07:01:14 AM
2 votes:
Let's see if thread confirms some of our cherished political stereotypes, such as which party takes the side of the "little guy."
2014-03-04 06:57:19 AM
2 votes:
Wow. The comments in that article are weapons grade retarded.
2014-03-04 12:36:08 PM
1 votes:
How do they determine which value the finder's fee is based upon?

The $30,000 original theft value?
The $10,000,000 value due to the rarity and condition of the coins?
The $2,000,000 current gold value?
The $900,000 adjusted for inflation value of the original $30,000?

I'm going with the government picking the $30,000 original theft value because government.
2014-03-04 11:46:52 AM
1 votes:
I'm surprised nobody's talking about how cool it is that this treasure not only was found but might be connected to a neat historical story.
2014-03-04 11:24:04 AM
1 votes:
Zihuatanejo, Mexico, Baby!


i1180.photobucket.com
2014-03-04 10:26:33 AM
1 votes:

HooskerDoo: Those coins are so rare I doubt that one could sell them at all without drawing attention.


Exactly.  Keeping secret about it wasn't a realistic option.

badhatharry: The owner abandoned it on their land. After a certain amount of time, it is theirs. If it was stolen, the owner or an insurance company can make a claim on it. It still doesn't belong to the government.


The owner didn't, the thief did.

JC22: Wouldn't these stolen gold coins have been written off back when they were stolen by the government as a loss? At that point aren't they now the property of whoever found them?

Just like when an owner reports a stolen car and the insurance pays them if the car is found it goes to the insurance company and not back to the owners (unless it's super rare).

So if they wrote this off which I'm sure they did the government no longer owns them.


No.  What you are describing is the insurance company buying the car off you.  You get the cash, they get the title.  If the car is recovered they get the car.  Since no insurance company paid the government for the coins the ownership remains with the government.
2014-03-04 10:05:31 AM
1 votes:

SVenus: The flip side argument (govt case) would state they want their actual coins back, no matter the value.
Any finders fee would be a percentage of the melt value of the metal.


Good point. 25% of $2 million is $500,000.

Although, if that did happen, no one would ever turn in gold treasure again. They would just melt it, claim it as a find, and pay the 40% windfall tax.

It's a gamble I'd take every single time, because the government could never divine the source of this gold beyond any other gold.
2014-03-04 09:55:04 AM
1 votes:

GoldSpider: Two words: "Prove it."


I would certainly force the government to prove it in court.
2014-03-04 09:52:24 AM
1 votes:

Life_is_a_carnivore: Or they could have laid low and cashed them in one at a time but they had to be attention whores.

Duh.


$30,000 worth of gold coins at face value is 1500-$20 gold pieces, which weigh an ounce each.

1500 ounces of gold at today's prices is worth just over $2 million.

These coins are worth 5x as much as a set, due to the collector value.

Coincidentally, 25% of $10 million is STILL $500,000 more than they're worth by weight.
2014-03-04 09:42:02 AM
1 votes:

colinspooky: Subbs sounds vaguely surprised. I am sure the coins did not belong to the couple, so why would the real owner simply accept the loss after they have been recovered. Possession really does not mean ownership, no matter how often the cliche is trotted out


When the real owner cannot be identified, possession does mean ownership, and in the case of most abandoned money, that's the case. Sadly for them, the real owner was just identified, and still exists.

Though maybe they could strike a deal to give the government the face value plus interest, while allowing them to capitalize on the numismatic value of the hoard. It gets the coins to collectors, gets the couple some income (which they'll pay taxes on!) and the government is made whole.
2014-03-04 09:38:50 AM
1 votes:

Rhino_man: Nuclear Monk: Rhino_man: Harlow_B_Ashur: Write the Feds a check for $28,000 and be done with it.

And if they're smart, they'll hire a lawyer that will be able to argue exactly that.  $30,000 in currency was stolen.  $30,000 in currency was returned.

Hell, they could even return it  adjusted for inflation and only have to cut a check for about $900k

That's what I was just calculating too.  Seems like that would be a reasonable argument to make.

To which, I'm sure, the Government would argue that the physical stolen property itself is what must be returned.  The finder's lawyer would surely then argue that the actual currency stolen only needs to be held by the government when used as evidence in a criminal trial against the thief, and since the thief is CLEARLY dead, a return of equivalent face value after inflation should suffice.

It's murky on both sides, and it would depend on the judge if it came to that... but I'm sure most judges would be sympathetic to the finders and agree to the $900k figure.


Might be worth it to just take the 2.5 M in finder's fee rather than let the lawyers have eleventy billion in legal fees. Seems like legal fees could chew up a significant part of 10 M pretty easily.
2014-03-04 09:37:12 AM
1 votes:

Rhino_man: If it's malevolent AND incompetent, then shouldn't it be accidentally doing good things for the people?  You might want to reevaluate the logical consistency of that image and try again, because right now you're just looking like an ass.


Logical consistency hasn't been a hallmark of the left since they pretended Dubya was both an evil criminal mastermind and a complete idiot.

/smart enough to trick Democrats into voting for his war
//too stupid to plant WMDs in Iraq for the troops to find
///maybe he was just a human being acting to protect the USA with the information he had
2014-03-04 09:30:54 AM
1 votes:
The same thing happened to the heirs of a coin collector who had some stolen never-circulated US gold coins.

http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/update-on-80-million-in-seized -g old-coins-judge-rules-they-belong-to-the-u-s-government_09072012
2014-03-04 09:22:55 AM
1 votes:
FTA:
A story that describes a gold heist from the San Francisco Mint at the turn of the century could explain the source of the gold coins worth $10 million that were found last month in California's Mother Lode country.

Government: Yeah, that gold might be ours, so we're just gonna drop by and pick up it in case it is. And if later, it turns out that it wasn't our gold, well the country really thanks you. We really needed 1 more Abrams tank. Will give you a finder's fee, but we gotta tax half that money we give you. It's only fair, you know?
2014-03-04 09:17:26 AM
1 votes:

HindiDiscoMonster: 75% Tax in a system that is supposed to max out at 40%... so how are they not being rape raped again?


Oh they got shafted, no doubt about it. But at the end of the day they might walk away with $2.5 million they never had before, plus a little more wisdom.

Really that's just the difference between owning a luxury yacht and not owning one. Like this one.
2014-03-04 09:01:59 AM
1 votes:
Wouldn't these stolen gold coins have been written off back when they were stolen by the government as a loss? At that point aren't they now the property of whoever found them?

Just like when an owner reports a stolen car and the insurance pays them if the car is found it goes to the insurance company and not back to the owners (unless it's super rare).

So if they wrote this off which I'm sure they did the government no longer owns them.
2014-03-04 08:43:13 AM
1 votes:

give me doughnuts: dukeblue219: Again, you cannot slowly convert $10MM worth of extremely valuable gold coins into cash without someone noticing. Furthermore, if you're someone barely getting by and suddenly start acquiring millions in cash the IRS is going to notice. You can't deposit the cash in a bank without drawing attention, and are you really going to buy a new car or new house with cash? Hell I'm not even positive you can sell gold coins worth thousands a piece for cash without generating a govt form somewhere.


Hide it in the insulation of your laundry room.
It was good enough for Walter White!


...and even after buying the car wash he ended up with piles of cash in a storage unit because he couldn't spend it or put it in a bank...

These people have a legal claim to the money, so there's no reason to incur the massive cost and risk of hiding/laundering it. Just cash it in, invest it wisely, and move on with your lives.

I would much rather have just $1MM in the bank than $10MM hidden in my attic, living every day terrified of a fire, robbery, or an IRS agent getting word of that guy cashing in lots of old gold for cash.
2014-03-04 08:28:43 AM
1 votes:
also why does everyone think they didn't consult legal council. he may have adviced them to go public and get as much exposure as possible for pr reasons realizing the gov was going to attempt to fark them on this.
2014-03-04 08:28:18 AM
1 votes:

HindiDiscoMonster: Cybernetic: The longer I live, the more I learn the value of keeping my mouth shut.

That said, a 25% finder's reward is still $2.5 million, which isn't bad considering all that they did was stumble across some old cans while they were walking their dogs.

it only hurts a little if they rape rape you a little?


If the gold turns out to be stolen property, and the law says that stolen property belongs to the original owner, then the property goes back to the original owner--even if that original owner happens to be the government.

It would be great for them if they were able to keep the whole thing. If law says they can't, and they "only" get $2.5 million, they're still way ahead of the game. I don't see anything rape-rapey (or even just plain old rapey) in that.

If YOU were the original owner, I'm willing to bet that you'd want your property back.
2014-03-04 08:24:35 AM
1 votes:

poot_rootbeer: Those poor people and their $2.5 million windfall. They worked hard to stumble across that unearned fortune!


You hated "The Goonies"
didn't you?
2014-03-04 08:20:58 AM
1 votes:

Life_is_a_carnivore: Or they could have laid low and cashed them in one at a time but they had to be attention whores.

Duh.


This.

My very first thought when the story came out was that they were asking for trouble or taxes, or both.

Best bet would be to sell them one at a time at different coin/gold shops.
2014-03-04 08:19:31 AM
1 votes:
Those poor people and their $2.5 million windfall. They worked hard to stumble across that unearned fortune!
2014-03-04 08:07:52 AM
1 votes:

badhatharry: colinspooky: Subbs sounds vaguely surprised. I am sure the coins did not belong to the couple, so why would the real owner simply accept the loss after they have been recovered. Possession really does not mean ownership, no matter how often the cliche is trotted out

The owner abandoned it on their land. After a certain amount of time, it is theirs. If it was stolen, the owner or an insurance company can make a claim on it. It still doesn't belong to the government.

/legal disclaimer: I do not have a GED in law. Do not take my legal advice.


And if it was stolen from the government?  I saw something like this on some discovery Channel show. There were some coins that weren't supposed to be circulated stolen from a US mint in the early 1900's. Most of the coins were recovered soon after, but there were something like 20 or 30 still floating around. Over the next 20 or 30 years they were able to recover more of the coins as they popped up at auctions or people tried to sell them to coin dealers, so that know there are only I think 10 unaccounted for. And it is not believed that those 10 will ever be found because the people who have them know that if it is ever known where they are the government will confiscate them because they are stolen property.
2014-03-04 08:07:01 AM
1 votes:

Shvetz: Wow, some of you are exceptionally dumb. Does anybody think they could have sold these coins without it being big news? Absolute best case scenario, they would have gotten 5-10 cents on the dollar, and risk getting in trouble for not reporting that on their taxes.

Also, the government can only take the coins if they prove they were stolen. That's only fair though. If you leave your phone in the back of a cab, does it suddenly become property of the next person in the taxi? Finders keepers?


For items of historic importance, finders keepers can hold true only if the finder has deep enough pockets to hold what they found. Most museums have to return what they stole from the Native Americans 100+ years ago, but the British government (through the British Museum) can afford the controversy and international court actions for the Elgin Marbles and the Rosetta Stone that they stole 200 years ago. Private individuals who come across 100+ year old gold coins that disappeared from a government mint do not have a chance.
2014-03-04 08:03:55 AM
1 votes:

Savage Belief: You really think our gub'ment is gonna pass on $10 million in gold?


$10 million is a drop in the bucket for even state governments, let alone the IRS.  Hell, it's nothing to any decent-sized city.  No, there are two factors at work here, and revenue is neither.

One, the government is understandably, intensely jealous about any money stolen from it.  Finding it isn't a crime, but it's a blessing if you're allowed to keep anything other than a finder's fee.  To a very real extent, a government IS its currency.  So while the government has been known to let people walk away with items of various value (a friend of mine has a WW2 "lend-lease" pistol that is technically U.S. government property), if they suspect legal tender has been stolen they do not fark around.  The Secret Service was not founded to protect politicians; that is their most famous but secondary objective.  Their primary purpose, to this day, is to protect the integrity of U.S. currency.*

The other factor is that this is honestly a very good policy.  Blatant shameless hypocrisy aside, it's in society's best interests that people create wealth through productivity than dig holes in their backyards looking for lost treasure.  If I was King for a day I'd do away with all sorts of government corruption, Vlad the Impaler style, but this is one particular idea I wouldn't touch; if anything I'd set the maximum recoverable amount (whether by taxation or confiscation-plus-finder's-fee) to 10%.  The alternative is the furthest thing imaginable from a meritocracy:  rewarding blind luck over productivity.

*Bailouts and corruption don't count; in those cases the government is giving the money away.
2014-03-04 08:00:21 AM
1 votes:
Wow, some of you are exceptionally dumb. Does anybody think they could have sold these coins without it being big news? Absolute best case scenario, they would have gotten 5-10 cents on the dollar, and risk getting in trouble for not reporting that on their taxes.

Also, the government can only take the coins if they prove they were stolen. That's only fair though. If you leave your phone in the back of a cab, does it suddenly become property of the next person in the taxi? Finders keepers?
2014-03-04 07:56:38 AM
1 votes:

badhatharry: If it was stolen, the owner or an insurance company can make a claim on it. It still doesn't belong to the government.


IF IT WAS STOLEN FROM THE MINT THE GOVERNMENT WAS THE OWNER!!!!
2014-03-04 07:53:39 AM
1 votes:

threadjackistan: Maledeus: Should have melted it all down and made non-descript bars...

dready zim: NEVER tell anyone you just found a load of gold.

Except me of course. I`ll buy it off you for a good price.

Melt it down. Then you just have a load of gold that cannot be traced back to an owner. Turn it into nuggets. Throw the gold onto the ground molten to mae nuggets and say you found the nuggets like that to the guy who is buying it without any questions...

Once you have the cash in your hand and can afford a good lawyer THEN say "Look at MEEEEEEE! I`M AN ATTENTION WHORE!!!".

Except the 25% finders fee is probably going to be far more than the melt value of the entire hordehoard.

/FTFM
2014-03-04 07:44:37 AM
1 votes:
NEVER tell anyone you just found a load of gold.

Except me of course. I`ll buy it off you for a good price.

Melt it down. Then you just have a load of gold that cannot be traced back to an owner. Turn it into nuggets. Throw the gold onto the ground molten to mae nuggets and say you found the nuggets like that to the guy who is buying it without any questions...

Once you have the cash in your hand and can afford a good lawyer THEN say "Look at MEEEEEEE! I`M AN ATTENTION WHORE!!!".
2014-03-04 07:33:29 AM
1 votes:
Wow, there is some real Grade A derp in the comments of TFA.
2014-03-04 07:26:25 AM
1 votes:

Rhino_man: Harlow_B_Ashur: Write the Feds a check for $28,000 and be done with it.

And if they're smart, they'll hire a lawyer that will be able to argue exactly that.  $30,000 in currency was stolen.  $30,000 in currency was returned.

Hell, they could even return it  adjusted for inflation and only have to cut a check for about $900k


That's what I was just calculating too.  Seems like that would be a reasonable argument to make.
2014-03-04 07:25:41 AM
1 votes:

Life_is_a_carnivore: Or they could have laid low and cashed them in one at a time but they had to be attention whores.

Duh.


That's probably what I would have done except maybe cash a little at at time ($10,000/month).  If anyone asks I'd say they've been in the family since uncle Leo died 15 years ago.
2014-03-04 07:22:50 AM
1 votes:
Next up: Uncle Sam takes all the coins, then charges them interest for the period of time the treasure was buried on their property. Or former property...the government will want that too, under civil forfeiture laws, given its use in the commission of a felony.
2014-03-04 07:21:16 AM
1 votes:

Harlow_B_Ashur: Write the Feds a check for $28,000 and be done with it.


And if they're smart, they'll hire a lawyer that will be able to argue exactly that.  $30,000 in currency was stolen.  $30,000 in currency was returned.

Hell, they could even return it  adjusted for inflation and only have to cut a check for about $900k
2014-03-04 07:19:11 AM
1 votes:

Harlow_B_Ashur: Write the Feds a check for $28,000 and be done with it.


Well-played.
2014-03-04 07:08:51 AM
1 votes:
The longer I live, the more I learn the value of keeping my mouth shut.

That said, a 25% finder's reward is still $2.5 million, which isn't bad considering all that they did was stumble across some old cans while they were walking their dogs.
2014-03-04 07:08:22 AM
1 votes:
So stolen goods remain stolen goods forever?

Makes me wonder why things like tax evasion can only go to court within 10 years. You bilked the state out of 10 millions 11 years ago? Well, you are in the clear.
2014-03-04 07:01:20 AM
1 votes:

Marmilman: Wow. The comments in that article are weapons grade retarded.


It's pj media, what did you expect?
2014-03-04 07:00:13 AM
1 votes:
They're going to lose 75% of the $10 million that they didn't have before?

Crimea River.
2014-03-04 06:59:24 AM
1 votes:
Wow, the comments on that page are like potato-million worth in derp.
2014-03-04 06:59:11 AM
1 votes:
But, but GOLD. How can government take? FIAT currency! RON PAUL!
2014-03-04 05:49:34 AM
1 votes:
Subbs sounds vaguely surprised. I am sure the coins did not belong to the couple, so why would the real owner simply accept the loss after they have been recovered. Possession really does not mean ownership, no matter how often the cliche is trotted out
 
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