Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Miser’s Tragedy: Hoarder With $200 in the Bank had $7,000,000 in Gold at Home

This is a bit of a  Rashōmon story, everyone sees something different in it.
The first half of the headline is from the New York Sun:
The discovery that a man who’d died at Nevada with $200 in the bank had a stash of gold bars and coins in his ramshackle home has the tax authorities looking for a windfall. The authorities are estimating that the value of the gold bars and coins discovered a month ago in the home of the late Walter Samaszko Jr. at $7 million, according to the Associated Press. That’s based just on the weight of the gold. There’s also the possibility that the coins, some of which are from exotic places like England and Austria, could be worth radically more than their weight in gold. In any event, the AP quotes the Carson City Clerk, Alan Glover, as saying the IRS wants a share.

For those of us troglodytes who persist in thinking of gold as money, this raises the question of the tax implications of falling prices....MORE

From the Los Angeles Times:
Nevada recluse dies with $200 in bank, $7 million in gold at home
Northern Nevada officials say there’s a lesson here of a Howard Hughes ilk: You can never judge a person’s worth by the kind of life he or she leads.

Authorities in Carson City recently made an astounding discovery in the home of a local recluse whose body was found in his residence. Walter Samaszko Jr. had left only $200 in his bank account. But hidden throughout the house were other treasures – including gold bars and coins valued at $7 million.
“You never anticipate running into anything like this,” Carson City Clerk-Recorder Alan Glover told the Los Angeles Times. “It was a run-of-the-mill 1,200-square-foot tract home that still had orange shag carpet. This guy was everybody’s next-door neighbor.”

Samaszko, 69, was described by officials as a loner who went about his business and had few friends. He had been dead at least a month when neighbors called authorities. The victim, who suffered from heart trouble, had lived in the house since the 1960s, and his mother lived with him until her death in 1992.
Glover, who also serves as the local public administrator, was tasked with dealing with the effects of a man who had left no will and had no known living relatives. But during the home cleanup, workers struck gold.
“He was a hoarder – there was everything inside that home you could think of,” Glover said. “The workers found a crawl space from the garage. That led to everything else...MORE
Meanwhile the Daily Mail leads with:
Recluse dies with just $200 in the bank... and $7million worth of GOLD COINS piled in his garage (and his cousin who hadn't spoken to him for a year will get the lot)
but has the most complete story.