Salt Lake City – An Utah auction house expects big business for a rare coin collection.
Thousands of gold, silver and unique coins are currently being auctioned Ergelsense & Olsen Auctioneers In Salt Lake City.
“You usually don’t have this kind of product in one area all at once,” said Rob Olson, owner of Erkelens & Olson.
The auction is being held without face-to-face contact due to concerns about the corona virus and the low number of people allowed into the building at the same time.
“It was weird,” Olson said. “I mean, when you sell with a microphone after 45 years, and suddenly there’s an infection, you’re basically doing 180 in your business.”
This collection should attract more interest not only because of what the coins are, but also because of where they came from.
Coins in Downtown Salt Lake City belong to the owner or Rust Rare Coin.
Two years ago, Rust was a rare coin Ponzi is being investigated by the FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission after its owners were accused of running the scheme, embezzling money and defrauding at least 700 investors of millions of dollars.
“This is one of more than 200 million Ponzi projects,” Olson said. “Real estate was involved here, there were foot horses, I heard over a hundred foot horses.”
Federal prosecutors say the Rust family, who ran the store, deceived people into believing they were raising money to buy and sell silver.
Instead, they are accused of using the money to pay other investors and for personal use.
A family member, Denise Gundersson Rust, 61, pleaded guilty to money laundering and was sentenced to 18 months in prison and three years in probation.
A U.S. district judge has also ordered him to pay $ 1.7 million in restructuring.
Her ex-husband Kaylan Rust and their son Joshua Rust are also facing federal charges. Criminal cases against them are pending and are currently scheduled for trial in March 2021. The SEC has suspended the complaint until the criminal cases are resolved.
Olsen’s company was selected by a federally appointed receiver to auction the goods and raise money to repay the victims of the Ponzi scheme.
“All of this money goes back to the recipient and then it can be distributed to people who have lost money and really lost their luck,” Olson said.
Victims will not get everything back, but it is one thing.
The auction ends this Wednesday.
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