Has anybody had their coins stolen by a dealer?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by ACE Mike, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. ACE Mike

    ACE Mike Internet Dealer

    Hi everybody!
    I posted this here and in another forum looking for advice.
    In a nutshell, here is what happened. I shipped a group of slabs to a long time (since the 1970's) dealer to sell for me, which he did. I have been paid for 13 of the slabs. The other 88 - nothing! It has been 11 months. I call every week and always get excuses and apologies and promises that payment will be forthcoming. But after 11 months I am ready to consider the coins stolen.
    Total of 88 slabs with an agreed upon value of $95,660.
    Anybody else had something like this happen and how did you proceed?
    I have already contacted the Numismatic Consumer Alliance and Numismatic Crime Information Center though I have not heard back from either yet.
    Also considering the ANA mediation service.
    Of course a lawyer is one avenue to pursue but of course that is super expensive. I have been in contact with numismatic lawyer Lyn Stevens though.
    Thanks for any advice you can send my way!
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  3. paddyman98

    paddyman98 Let me burst your bubble! Supporter

    Call 911 and file a report.
  4. 2x2 $averKrazy

    2x2 $averKrazy Hopelessly coined in

    if you don't have anything in writing, I'd suggest recording a phone conversation!
    Inspector43, Seattlite86 and ACE Mike like this.
  5. ACE Mike

    ACE Mike Internet Dealer

    Luckily I have saved everything. All paperwork, emails, etc.

    He is still very active and attends shows every weekend.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  6. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    Hey Mike..... For 95k, yes I would contact a lawyer. I am a businessman and my threshold is anything under 10k receives my wrath. Once the amount exceeds 10k, an attorney is absolutely warranted. And not a nice attorney either!
  7. 2x2 $averKrazy

    2x2 $averKrazy Hopelessly coined in

    shisters are the worst , I'd definitely pursue that, good luck! sincerely!
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  8. ACE Mike

    ACE Mike Internet Dealer

    Randy - As somebody who has never used a lawyer before, about how much would one cost? I have been in limited contact with Lyn Stevens who handles numismatic cases but have not reached the point yet of discussing fees...
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  9. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    You can expect an aggressive business attorney will cost you in the neighborhood of $200.00 per hour and add to that any costs the attorney incurs. You will likely have to establish a retainer up front. The amount may vary from attorney to attorney but I would suspect about a $1000.00 retainer fee. The lawyers time is generally subtracted from that. Often they will have administrative tasks performed by office staff that will be billed at a cheaper rate. And they will quite literally bill you for every moment they work for you. And once you are established as a client and need to speak to them on the phone, every second of that time is billed, so organize your thoughts before you call them and keep your discussions brief and to the point..... I found that one out the hard way.
  10. CoinCorgi

    CoinCorgi Derp, derp, derp!

    A few stern letters from your lawyer to the dealer will likely get you your money. If I were a betting man, you'll be out about $5K tops for lawyer fees.

    +1 @Randy Abercrombie
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  11. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    Corgi is right. I often find that once a crook discovers you have "lawyered up", they will make right. A strongly worded lawyer letter does resolve the bulk of my collection issues.
  12. ACE Mike

    ACE Mike Internet Dealer

    Thanks Randy and CoinCorgi. I am actually a bit relieved to hear your numbers. With the reputation lawyers have I was actually expecting to hear larger figures!

    I actually think he does intend to pay eventually. It's just that 11 months is too long.
  13. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    This. Lawyers charge for every email, every phone call, everything. And it’s often rounded up to a 15 minute period, when they really only spent 5. I once picked the world’s worst lawyer for something I needed a lawyer for. When I emailed his boss to address some significant concerns about his conduct, my lawyer actually charged me for talking to his boss about my complaint.
  14. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    And this is exactly the reason they get such a bad rap. I had been pursuing a 50k collection that was out of state for almost six months. Christmas came around and my lawyer sent me a box of fudge. I called and thanked her for the fudge.... And yes I was billed for that phone call.
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  15. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    One thing I would do before taking legal action is to send a certified mail letter asking for all unsold items to be immediately returned to you along with any and all monies due.

    If you receive nothing in a short but reasonable time frame then I would contact a good lawyer and proceed from there. Best wishes.
    352sdeer, Theodosius, dadams and 6 others like this.
  16. Inspector43

    Inspector43 70 Year Collector

    Perhaps, as a last resort, you publish his name and post a review on YELP. Or, at least let him think you will.
    ACE Mike likes this.
  17. Santinidollar

    Santinidollar Supporter! Supporter

    Nobody I know loves lawyers, but they serve a useful purpose, such as in cases like this one.

    ACE Mike likes this.
  18. ACE Mike

    ACE Mike Internet Dealer

    Seems like the consensus is that a lawyer is required. I am hopeful that maybe just a letter of demand from an attorney will get the payments going.
    I have been warned that the dealer could just file bankruptcy and skip out on the whole thing, but my hope is that since he attends large shows every weekend including all the national shows he would not want a bankruptcy on his record.
  19. Maxfli

    Maxfli Well-Known Member

    I'll repeat what others have already said: a sternly worded letter on a law firm masthead is often all it takes to resolve something like this, and it won't cost you all that much.

    Please keep us in the loop. Could be a valuable learning opportunity for all of us.
  20. I agree that you will likely need to get a lawyer. However, if you have not told the dealer that you will contact a lawyer if you do not get your money, you may want to do that first. This may light a fire under the dealer and save you the cost of a lawyer. Given the 11 month timeframe though, I am thinking the dealer might not budge without the lawyer getting involved. Good luck! TC
    Seattlite86, Inspector43 and ACE Mike like this.
  21. green18

    green18 Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    Did she charge for the fudge? devil.gif
    NSP, markr, Seattlite86 and 6 others like this.
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