Man's Neighbors Had No Idea He Had Squirreled Away $7 Million In Gold

The tale of the reclusive neighbor hunkered down in the house down the street, surrounded by a lifetime of clutter is a familiar one. But in the case of one elderly man who recently passed away in California, along with all that detritus was a collection of gold that’s estimated to be worth about $7 million. He must’ve been one of those 10 million Americans eschewing bank accounts.

The Tahoe Daily Tribune says the man’s neighbors had no idea he was so rich until authorities were called to clean out his home. A local clerk said the sheriff was called out of concern for the man after an odd smell was reported and neighbors hadn’t seen him in awhile.

Soon after a cleaning crew arrived at the house, they called the clerk because they’d stumbled across a pretty major finding in the garage — boxes of gold.

“At that point, we took the house apart,” said the clerk, adding that they went into the house’s crawl space and combed the yard with a metal detector. That search uncovered boxes of gold coins and bullion wrapped in aluminum foil and plastic cases.

“There were dos-pesos smaller than a dime, five-peso coins, $20 gold pieces, gold sovereigns, Austrian ducats, Krugerrands; you name it, [he] had it.”

The man’s haul took two wheelbarrow loads to take it all away, and will be stored in an armored car company’s vault until his estate gets sorted out. Apparently the man had lived with his mother until 1992, when she passed away. She’d been the one who started the gold collection back in the 1960s.

It’s unknown whether the man and his mother paid the IRS what they should’ve, but given the man’s distaste for the outside world, his heir might have to give up about $800,000 in taxes. His neighbors said while he was a hoarder and “anti-government,” he was  quiet and not hard to deal with.

“Our goal is to get the most money for the heir,” said the clerk of the man’s one living relative, adding that it’s the biggest probate case he’s seen in 20 years.

At least hoarding gold is a lot more productive than hoarding newspapers or hundreds of pairs of socks like my great uncle did. Our family never needs socks again, ever, but gold? Gold we could use.

Quiet recluse turns out to be rich [Tahoe Daily Tribune]

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