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A man is suing “Pawn Stars” over $50,000 dollars worth of gold coins that were first stolen from him by his niece and then sold to the popular pawn shop, who then promptly melted the coins down.
According to a criminal complaint filed by the State of Nevada in Clark County Justice Court, a coin collection valued by its owner, David Walters, at up to $50,000, was stolen from Walters’ Las Vegas home in November 2013 by Walters’ niece, Jennifer Beckman.
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Court documents say Walters’ collection–kept in a bag hidden under a dresser–contained such rarities as a 1903 St. Gaudens $20 gold piece and Silver Morgan coins from the 1880s. It also contained contemporary 1 oz. American Buffalo gold pieces.
The complaint alleges Beckman stole the collection in installments, taking parts of it on three different occasions to Las Vegas’ Gold and Silver Pawn shop, where, it says, she sold them. The shop is the setting for the hit History Channel TV series “Pawn Stars.”
Detective Watkins of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department says in a deposition filed with the complaint that Beckman, from her three visits to the shop on Vas Vegas Boulevard, netted a total of $12,375.
Watkins says he contacted Gold and Silver and attempted to place a hold on the coins, so they could be returned to Walters. But, he says, he was unable to recover them.
So, what happened to Walter’s coins? Where did they go?
Explains Silver and Gold’s spokesperson, Laura Herlovich, “In a fast-moving shop, particularly our shop, because of its fame, you move things quickly.” When coins come in, she says, they typically are in plastic cases, with a value already assigned them by a grader.
“We go through them,” says Herlovich. “If the grader is not someone we trust, the cases are cracked open and the coins are sent out to be melted down. That was the case here. I don’t know for sure, but I believe a majority were melted down. They weren’t worth what he [Walters] thought they were worth.” source
Calls to Walters and Beckman seeking comment weren’t immediately returned.
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