If You Can’t Touch It You Don’t Own It: Austin Gold Vault Comes Up Mostly Empty

Thomas Dishaw

 If you can’t touch it you don’t own it.  Here is another prime example of the importance of  actually possessing physical assets like gold and silver, or you could end up like many of these unfortunate customers who have lost everything.

A recent article by the Austin American Statesman reports: Barbala bought more than $100,000 worth of precious metals through a little-known downtown Austin company. Started in 1999, Bullion Direct began as an online virtual trading floor where thousands of customers could buy and sell precious metals to each other, with the company taking a cut of each sale.

Later, it began selling the metals to customers directly. It also stored the commodities for those who requested it — such as Barbala — with the glittering coins and bars kept safely in individual piles for each investor in an old bank vault in its Lavaca Street offices.

At least that’s what everyone thought.

By the time auditors and lawyers got access to Bullion Direct’s 14th-floor offices six weeks ago, there were only a handful of gold and silver coins in an office safe. A second vault it had recently rented held only slightly more.

An estimated $30 million in cash, metal bullion and valuable coins, meanwhile, had vanished.

And the story gets worse.  It’s estimated that the scammed investors will only recover 2-3% of their total investments.Imagine having $100,000 in precious metals locked away in some vault and then when its time to collect only receiving $3000. This will be a heartbreaking lesson to the people involved and most likely destroy any chance of prosperity these families had.

What is clear is that the news has devastated those who believed the company was safekeeping the futures they’d bet on the rounds and bricks of gold and silver. Some lost hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of the precious metal with little apparent prospect of regaining it. Jesse Moore, an attorney representing several creditors, predicted that investors can hope to recover 2 or 3 percent of their money, at best.

Bullion Direct filed for bankruptcy protection on July 20, several days after the company abruptly shuttered its operations and let go its dozen or so employees. The company’s new lawyer, Joe Martinec, has hired a local turn-around specialist to try to squeeze whatever value remains out of it.

Bullion Direct only filed one tax return in 16 years…

Beneath the surface, however, financial documents from Bullion Direct’s bankruptcy depict a startlingly different picture. James Hoeffner, an Austin attorney representing a Florida customer missing an estimated $250,000 in cash and metal from the company’s vault, said Bullion Direct filed only a single income tax return, in 2010, covering the previous decade.

It showed the company lost money for all but two of those years. By 2009, the documents show, the company was carrying $17 million in losses — not counting the tens of millions of dollars’ worth in eventually missing money and metal. Records also show McAllister had hired a bankruptcy attorney in 2012, but never filed.

Bullion Direct filed for bankruptcy protection on July 20, several days after the company abruptly shuttered its operations and let go its dozen or so employees. The company’s new lawyer, Joe Martinec, has hired a local turn-around specialist to try to squeeze whatever value remains out of it.

Several weeks into the job, he has described the company’s finances as a mess. Bullion Direct hadn’t filed a tax return since 2010. What little has been unearthed suggests it was losing money almost from the day it opened its doors. Records also indicate McAllister paid himself hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual compensation.

If anyone reading this does not physically own their gold or silver, I’m sorry but you don’t own it. Don’t end up like Gerald Celente who almost lost his six figure gold investment,  but due to his stature and Gods grace was able to recover most of  his assets.

http://thomasdishaw.com/if-you-cant-touch-it-you-dont-own-it-austin-gold-vault-comes-up-mostly-empty/

7 thoughts on “If You Can’t Touch It You Don’t Own It: Austin Gold Vault Comes Up Mostly Empty

  1. “If anyone reading this does not physically own their gold or silver, I’m sorry but you don’t own it.”

    Nothing could be clearer (or truer) than that.

  2. Funny thing for me is, Bullion Direct is the first company I ever bought metal from online. That was back in 08 and 09 when I received all of it with no complaints from me. Then I found better premiums local and never went back to them. Sure glad I never got to find out they were scumbags first hand. As for having someone store what’s mine; I would rather bury it before I do that.

  3. And how does anyone know how genuine gold or silver coins are? Are we supposed to believe these scammers (like the scammers on those coin TV channels) who say the coins are .99 silver or .90 gold or whatever are actually telling the truth? Whatever happened to the art of assaying? Putting a silver coin in your hand and “weighing” it as opposed to putting a coin of lesser percentage silver in your other hand and “weighing” it doesn’t mean squat except one coin is heavier… When it comes to gold and silver coins you really can’t trust anybody!

    1. Remember some time back when they found ‘name-brand’ gold bars filled with tungsten?

      I’ll bet I can guess at least 2 places on the planet where the gold is being accumulated. I won’t name them here at this time, but I am also of the belief that others here are already thinking the same thing.

      1. They were pretty darned high-end knockoffs too. A whole lot more tech going into them than what the average run of the mill charlatan could pull off imho.

        But who would be so devious to devise such a scheme with so many resources and technology available to them?

        Nah, couldn’t be…;-)

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