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EyesWideShut
Involving Tom Surina's (didn't wish to put his name in the thread title) purchase for $30,000 currency that brought in excess of  $3.6 million (Heritage) .  I am aware it was scheduled to go to trial last May but never heard the outcome of said trial . Was talking to another dealer today and he inquired and I did not know so turning to the board ? ? ?
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Numbersman
https://www.app.com/story/news/local/courts/2019/06/26/asbury-park-gold-certificates-mistrial/1571629001/
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maxcrusha (aka Greg)

why does it say that "Tom Surina knew they were stolen" ?

unless I am misreading it, the safe was part of the sale...   no?

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MEC2
$3.5 million out of thin air, and these people can't find an equitable way to share it. Christ...
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YoungCollector

why does it say that "Tom Surina knew they were stolen" ?

unless I am misreading it, the safe was part of the sale...   no?



The home owners claim they didn't just say "keep all the stuff, it is yours", but the guys who cleaned out the house says "yes they did".  The owners got word and let Surina know they wanted in on the action before he sold the notes and he told them to drop dead.  So, it is a "he said, she said" case.  However, it is common practice when doing a demo that the crew keeps the salvage.  So a jury has to decide what the contract was.

I had a house demo'd in a town two towns south of Asbury several years ago.  Offhand I mentioned to the guy doing the demo "hey, can't some of the copper pipes be salvaged and sold?" and he said "yeah, I give that stuff to the crew, they buy a couple of lunches with the money".

If any blue collar guys are on the jury there would be zero chance of a conviction.

[  Small note, Asbury was once a very nice town, then there were race riots in the 60's and the place fell apart.  It is now being gentrified so the old houses, all in very bad repair, are gradually being ripped down and replaced with new homes.  It is not uncommon for some kids to inherit grandma's old abandoned place (grandma spent her last decade in the nursing home) and then rip the place down to sell the land. ]
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Russell Kaye
Although what happens with any property in the house should have been in a written contract, I suspect that there is some legal precedent as to what happens if nothing is in writing. This probably isn't the only similar dispute to come out of property of value recovered from the thousands of houses destroyed in Sandy. But this is a big find involving paper money.

Do we know who owned these notes previously? Rarities like this may very well be in the census.
Buying, Selling Currency and Sharing Knowledge-Especially Obsoletes.
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oklahomadanny
Numbersman's link with have more links with details. The lady (granddaughter) that owned it had said her grandmother had told her?/family about the notes way long ago.  Grandma died in 2004, passed the property to daughter who later died, then to granddaughter in 2012. She couldn't afford to keep paying the taxes and eventually sold the house.

From article: "She couldn't afford to fix it. She couldn't afford the taxes to hold onto it either. Plus, she planned to move to Florida where her lifelong best friend is a doctor. Linder sold the home to Burke Development in the spring of 2013. That deal, she said, also included all of the items cluttered inside."

Added: https://www.app.com/story/news/local/people/2019/05/20/gold-certificates-asbury-park/3311405002/
[Avengers100px][CIB3-2][geronimo2] 
  *Dad* 7/21/1916-12/22/2014 *WWII Veteran* Signal Corps *
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YoungCollector

Do we know who owned these notes previously? Rarities like this may very well be in the census.


I think the notes had been tucked away at the time of the gold recall, and thus were hidden because they were illegal.  I don't think they were considered collectible at the time they were first locked up.

During the recall period, there was speculation that they might some day be redeemed in gold if you could just hold on to them.

Note that *most* $1000 gold certificates would be more valuable if you could still redeem them for the statutory amount of gold. 
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Timbuk3
Amazing !!! 👍
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ustyuzhanin
This situation was out and out greed on Surina's part, and he still faces possible retrial and a massive civil suit. He has the nerve to be advertising again and showing up at shows. He should crawl under a rock.
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mikelaw
I’ve known Tom Surina for many years. He’s an honest and good person. I don’t think he’s guilty of anything. Anyway interesting post.
Mike
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IRISHMIKE
If the granddaughter couldn't afford to pay the taxes why didn't she get the bills out of the safe and sell them herself. I think that's enough evidence to show that she didn't know anything about the bills! I don't think she has a leg to stand on. Why would she wait until the man found the money to say something about it? Nobody knew about those bills until they were found. I think they belong to the man who found them and he should keep them or the proceeds actually. The granddaughter screwed up by not cleaning the house for her self. End of story.
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EyesWideShut
mikelaw wrote:
I’ve known Tom Surina for many years. He’s an honest and good person. I don’t think he’s guilty of anything. Anyway interesting post.


I've known Tom for over 25 years myself . That said , you do not think he did anything wrong by paying the man $30,000 for notes that anyone with 5 minutes experience in the business should have known were worth millions ?  Whether or not he knew they were stolen or whatever plays no part in the lack of ethics and integrity shown in the purchase .........
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mikelaw
I know Tom. He’s a good guy. Can’t believe he would have any criminal intent. Anyway who knows
Mike
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EyesWideShut
mikelaw wrote:
I know Tom. He’s a good guy. Can’t believe he would have any criminal intent. Anyway who knows


Not criminal? Maybe just extreme greed / larceny . How do you explain the $30,000 offer for items any professional dealer would have known to be worth millions ? 
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YoungCollector


I've known Tom for over 25 years myself . That said , you do not think he did anything wrong by paying the man $30,000 for notes that anyone with 5 minutes experience in the business should have known were worth millions ?  Whether or not he knew they were stolen or whatever plays no part in the lack of ethics and integrity shown in the purchase .........


mmmm .... I have little doubt that the workmen fairly gained title during their demo ...  but it is a good point that Surina knew the notes were worth a lot - a lot - more than $30k.  It is hard to see how his behavior can be considered ethical.   I sometimes buy and sell things from people I am introduced to and, before agreeing a price, I let them know how I am arriving at that price and why I think it is fair - I encourage them to explore other sale options.  Based on the publicly available information I see, Surina didn't do that.

But scum-baggery and criminal behavior are two different things which overlap, but are not identical.

I have very very high regard for @mikelaw and I would like to hear him comment on Surina buying these notes and only paying out $30k - in case we are all missing something.   Offhand, I would have offered the workmen some money up-front against a sale ($30k is fine) and asked 10% commission of their final profit for steering them the right way.   I would not have pocketed virtually all the profit.
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EyesWideShut


mmmm .... I have little doubt that the workmen fairly gained title during their demo ...  but it is a good point that Surina knew the notes were worth a lot - a lot - more than $30k.  It is hard to see how his behavior can be considered ethical.   I sometimes buy and sell things from people I am introduced to and, before agreeing a price, I let them know how I am arriving at that price and why I think it is fair - I encourage them to explore other sale options.  Based on the publicly available information I see, Surina didn't do that.

But scum-baggery and criminal behavior are two different things which overlap, but are not identical.

I have very very high regard for @mikelaw and I would like to hear him comment on Surina buying these notes and only paying out $30k - in case we are all missing something.   Offhand, I would have offered the workmen some money up-front against a sale ($30k is fine) and asked 10% commission of their final profit for steering them the right way.   I would not have pocketed virtually all the profit.
 


I feel fairly certain if Tom had agreed to an equitable split he could have avoided all the courtroom hassle . There was plenty to go around . Greed ......
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YoungCollector
I would like to hear from @mikelaw
My understanding is that the court case was not between Surina and the workmen, but over title to the notes brought by the homeowners.
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mikelaw
I guess it’s hard to understand unless you’re a full-time dealer. How many times do you have people come in with notes or coins with fantastic stories that you’re not sure about. Who knows if they’re telling the truth. Anyway, You make an offer and see what happens. I still don’t think he’s guilty.
Mike
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MaineJoe
 I can say I really don't know Tom, though I had dealt with him a few times. I will offer this from my personal perspective. I had encountered a gentleman (my sister in laws neighbor) who had a collection of notes and coins he inherited from his social partner back in '92. After moving it around 5 times he said he's tired of packing and moving it. He admitted he was NOT a collector his partner was since the 60's, and he knew nothing other than it must be worth something. Having a relationship with my sister in law he trusted me to take a look at what he had. After 2 days of in person evaluation and documentation of the collection he pulls out a box of gold coins.  We were already close on the rest of the collection, now was the gold. Have being there for the FUN show I asked if he would allow me to take some of them to the show and get opinion and possible value evaluation, he agreed. So I went and got referrals from known dealers of who to trust and/or ask for an appraisal. I logged 7 offers or evaluations and returned them to the owner. He had in the meantime a local dealer he knew come and appraise the collection. I returned to find he was about to sell ALL of it to this local dealer (since his price was @10% over mine). Long and short of the deal was that I willingly upped my price on ALL of it by almost 25% and took it with me. He was more than happy and satisfied and I still made a fair margin off of what I did sell.
 So is this a message on ethics or just common sense business? Who to say, right? I believe that I am as fair as business allows me to be. In the same respect I do know the value line between buying as a dealer and a collector. Could he have done it different, yes. I have had situations where it required by my opinion to be the broker in the sale in order to be fair to all involved. Dealers always want to "make a buck" it's business. I'm sure many of the dealers out there have at some time or another had an unreal deal fall in their lap. What do you do when this happens? Not everyone is totally ethical in every situation is the point.
 I have read the storyline of the situation and would say there may have been some unethical dealing on the purchase. But again, who knows ALL the story other than Tom and the seller(s). Now on the other hand is the original owner (by default as I see it). They caught wind of what happened and the $$ involved and wanted their share, after the fact. I think regardless of the what and how Tom carried out his deal, the original owner doesn't have much room to stand on their claim.

 Thanks for listening (reading) my long winded spew. 
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maxcrusha (aka Greg)
well if it is a mistrial then they have some kind of a shot.  I am sure the judge is hoping they just settle.
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YoungCollector
mikelaw wrote:
I guess it’s hard to understand unless you’re a full-time dealer. How many times do you have people come in with notes or coins with fantastic stories that you’re not sure about. Who knows if they’re telling the truth. Anyway, You make an offer and see what happens. I still don’t think he’s guilty.


I certainly don't mean to imply he is guilty of a crime - I don't believe he is.
But if he is a very experienced dealer the story makes it sound like he is unethical.

That said, I know many people who are well off and behave very ethically.  But ... in their past was the "big break" where they acted unethically.
To quote George Bernard Shaw:

PICKERING. Have you no morals, man?

DOOLITTLE [unabashed] Can't afford them, Governor. Neither could you if you was as poor as me. Not that I mean any harm, you know. But if Liza is going to have a bit out of this, why not me too?


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