Walter Samaszko Jr. and his home in Carson City, Nev. (Geoff Doman/Nevada Appeal)
A quiet recluse who died with $200 in his bank account surprised Carson City, Nev. officials when they were inspecting his run-of-the mill home to put it up for sale.
Inside Walter Samaszko Jr.'s 1,200-square-foot house, officials found stashes of gold coins and bullion.
$7 million worth of it.
"You never anticipate running into anything like this," Carson City Clerk-Recorder Alan Glover told the Los Angeles Times." This guy was everybody's next-door neighbor."
Glover told the Tahoe Daily Tribune that several boxes of coins were found all neatly wrapped in aluminum foil in Samaszko's garage.
"There were dos-pesos smaller than a dime, five-peso coins, $20 gold pieces, gold sovereigns, Austrian ducats, Krugerrands," Glover said. "You name it, (he) had it."
He had so much gold it took two trips on wheelbarrows to haul it out, the Daily Tribune reported. Officials also searched crawl spaces and used a metal detector in his yard to ensure they found all the gold, according to the Daily Tribune.
"He was a hoarder — there was everything inside that home you could think of," Glover told the L.A. Times. "The workers found a crawl space from the garage. That led to everything else."
The gold is currently being stored in an vault.
According to the local newspaper, Samaszko, 69, lived in the house with his mother since the 1960s. His mother died in 1992. Glover said neighbors knew little about him other than that he was quiet and not a problem.
"He didn't socialize. He wasn't exactly a hermit — he shopped for groceries and talked with at least one elderly neighbor." Glover told the Times. "In his garage was a 1968 Mustang he bought new."
"He never went to a doctor," Glover said. "He was obsessed with getting diseases from shots."
There were some conspiracy theory books in the home along with several guns and $12,000 in cash, according to the Daily Tribune.
Glover said Samaszko's mother kept detailed records of gold purchases from the 1960s. After her death he continued with the record keeping, apparently buying from a local coin dealer.
The source of his and his mother's wealth was that his father was a vice president of the J. Harris Pie Co., which sold out to what is now Mrs. Smith's Pie Co. before he died, the Daily Tribune reports.
Samaszko appears to have only one relative to claim the wealth — a first cousin who is a substitute teacher in San Rafael, Calif.
Glover says Carson City officials will need to work with the IRS, which he says may require some taxes on the total amount of gold depending if Samaszko and his mother filed proper tax returns over the years.
"Our goal is to get the most money for the heir," Glover said.
- Politics & Government