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I stumbled upon this "Coingate" infosite.

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Interesting but meaningless. Basically a well known, active, coin dealer is known by or has had business dealings with many well known and active coin dealers. Not very shocking. In fact, I would be more concerned if this guy didn't know anyone in the business. I love how every article by the Blade tries to tie this to politices and Bush. The lost the election. Move on...(yes a pun indirectly referring to a famous partisan organization).

 

Who owns the Blade ? Who started this web site ? I would be shocked if some well healed are not lurking behind the scenes.

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Good idea. Here is something else you should post: (note the large profits to Ohio and how the difference between fair market value and cost basis inventory was reported by the Toledo Blade as "missing coins." They are either completely stupid or they are intentionally distorting this story for their own purposes).

 

PART OF COIN INVESTMENT RECOVERED; Liquidators hopeful after $10 million of state's $50 million reclaimed so far

 

Mark Niquette

640 words

25 June 2005

The Columbus Dispatch

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1A

English

Columbus Dispatch

 

Liquidators have recovered about $10 million from a $50 million rare-coin investment by the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, and they're optimistic the final amount collected will be "significant.''

 

"The good news is, , we're going to get back a fair amount of money for the state of Ohio,'' said Bill Brandt, who was named to help liquidate the coin fund.

 

Brandt, president and chief executive of Chicago-based Development Specialists Inc., also said it appears that the reported fund shortfall of up to $13 million is not from missing coins, but from how some coins were valued.

 

He declined to elaborate, citing ongoing investigations. But sources previously have said they suspect that fund manager Thomas W. Noe might have bought coins with his own money and sold them to the state at inflated prices.

 

Still, Brandt, who was picked by William T. Bodoh, the retired U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge from Youngstown overseeing the liquidation, said he thinks it's possible to make up at least part of any shortfall.

 

Although the state hired Noe because of his expertise in coins, not all of the $50 million was spent on coins. Brandt estimates that about $18 million went to loans, joint ventures, stock and other noncoin assets.

 

Brandt said liquidators have confirmed that bureau money was used to buy "several million dollars'' of noncoin collectibles, including Civil War-era banners announcing the Emancipation Proclamation.

 

But there are no Beanie Babies in the portfolio, and most items are historical, he said. Bureau officials have said Noe never told them he was investing in collectibles.

 

Liquidators are focusing first on the loans and other assets besides coins, Brandt said.

 

For example, the state has secured nearly $4.3 million from a loan Noe made using bureau money to Spectrum Numismatics, a California company that buys and sells rare coins.

 

Company officials could not be reached, but according to regulatory filings by parent firm Greg Manning Auctions, Spectrum Numismatics took a $4 million loan from Noe at 10 percent interest in 2002.

 

Brandt said the state also has recovered money from loans Noe made to John Ulmer and his Toledo-based Westhaven Group, which buys and sells property.

 

Brandt expects to have liquidated most of the noncoin assets by the fall. But he said liquidators won't rush to sell the coins and risk not getting the maximum prices for them.

 

Brandt expressed concerns about the Colorado subsidiary where investigators are focusing on the actions of Noe associate Michael Storeim.

 

Storeim has denied wrongdoing, but he has reported that two coins worth $300,000 were stolen in the mail, while an additional 119 coins in Colorado worth $93,000 couldn't be located.

 

Even so, Noe attorney William C. Wilkinson said he has been told that documentation exists showing the location of most of those 119 coins. State investigators have declined to comment.

 

Brandt also noted some debate about the value of the coin fund Noe managed.

 

The bureau invested $50 million with Noe in a pair of $25 million allotments in 1998 and 2001, but the bureau is valuing the fund at $58 million.

 

That includes $50 million in invested capital, plus $5.4 million in reported profit from 2003 that Noe said was reinvested in the fund, and $2.6 million in profits through the end of 2004.

 

Noe has sent profit checks to the bureau from 1999-2003 totaling $7.9 million.

 

"My goal is to get back the original principal and as much thereafter as possible,'' Brandt said.

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