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Friday, February 28, 2014

Communications Preps: Shut Up!

Many of you have heard the story of the Northern California couple that found 6 rusty cans on their property.  Those cans contained coins with a face amount of $27,000.  Nice haul, huh?  Woo hoo!  Par-tay!

Oh.  Those coins were pre-1933 $5, $10 and $20 gold pieces.  The gold alone in them is worth in the neighborhood of $2 million.  Did I mention that many of them were in Mint State?  Yeah, lots of 'em.

The entire "Saddle Ridge Hoard" is estimated to have a market value of $10 million.

When I first heard of this story, my first thought was, "Why do I know about this?  Why does anybody know about this?"

Apparently, this husband and wife decided to do, "the right thing" and publicize their find.  While their names have not - so far - been disclosed, the fact that their find is now public, is going to cost them dearly.

I've seen estimates that these folks might be looking at a liability in the neighborhood of $5 million between state and federal taxes.

For what?  What did any government bureaucrat do to earn a single dime from this find?  Not a damned thing.

What this really does is drive home the point about who really owns property in this country.  In case you're unclear on the concept, it ain't you.  If the state wants what you've got, they'll just take it - one way or another.

But wait, there's more!  It now seems that over a hundred years ago, this gold may have been stolen from the San Francisco mint.  I can guaran-damn-tee you, the feds, state and heirs of the guy who stole the coins are going to work their damnedest to sell that point.
According to U.S. Treasure Trove Laws, the whole collection could be taken away and given to descendants of the person who originally put it in the ground or even given to the state.

It would be impossible to prove a chain of ownership with these coins, unless there were some sort of note in the cans saying that the guy stole them.  Otherwise, the very nature of all minted coins - every one looks exactly like the one made before it and after it - would make it impossible to conclusively prove these coins were the ones stolen.

Still, put together a jury of soft-headed "peers" and you can kiss your hoard good-bye.  For God's sake, we're in the proverbial belly of the liberal beast.  This area spawned Pelosi, Feinstein, and Boxer.  People in these parts love giving their lives away to the state.

Accept The Challenge

So, what have we learned from this little lesson?

Like we often say, "You don't own it unless you can hold it".  BUT, if you own it, and they know about it, they can take it.  The fewer people that know what you own, the less likely someone with a badge and a gun are going to come take it away.

Love thy neighbor, but keep him at arm's length.  If things get desperate enough, he'll come looking with a gun as well.

What do you have that some agency or neighbor might want someday?
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Cash
  • Guns
  • Ammo
  • Food
  • Water
  • Real estate
  • A bank account
  • A retirement account
In all 50 states, the last 3 items must be held in a legal name, and must be tied to a government ID number (a social security number or tax ID number).  There are still ways in which ownership of those assets can be obscured.  A competent tax attorney can guide you there.

All of the other items are tangible assets that can be possessed without anyone else knowing about it.  No one but you.  You're responsible for their safe keeping, but that's one of the prices you pay for freedom. 

It is becoming increasingly difficult to "spend" the first 3 items, so pre-planning their use is paramount.  Act quickly or rashly, and your hard work can all be unraveled.

Never keep all of your assets in a single geographic location.  That's just begging to have them taken.

Be prudent.
Be resourceful.
Be prepared.

As we say up top, Audentes fortuna juvat - Fortune favors the bold...

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Copyright 2014 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.

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