A Carson City man who neighbors say was an "anti-government" recluse, died recently leaving behind just $200 in the bank — but a fortune in gold coins, gold bars, stocks, and cash inside his home.
City officials say Walter Samaszko Jr., 69, has lived alone since his mother died in 1992, and had been dead at least a month before law enforcement officials were alerted to the smell emanating from his house.
Before her demise, Samaszko's mother spent years using money left behind by her late husband, the vice president of a successful pie company, to purchase antique gold coins from various countries. Samaszko kept up the practice after she died, writing down each purchase in meticulous fashion.
Together they amassed millions in gold coins and bullion, which authorities found wrapped in tinfoil inside ammunition boxes. Additionally, Samaszko had thousands of dollars in cash and stocks lying around the house.
In fact, so much treasure was uncovered in the house, that authorities took the house apart and ran a metal detector through the property to make sure nothing was overlooked.
Based on weight, Carson City Clerk-Recorder Alan Glover estimated that some $7 million in gold was uncovered, but said the rarer coins in Samaszko's collection could bump up the total.
The money is being kept safe inside a Loomis Armored Car while the city tracked down Samaszko's next of kin.
Using a list of people who attended his mother's funeral, investigators determined that his closest living relative is a first cousin who lives in San Rafael. However, before the city can hand the woman Samaszko's fortune, it must first be inspected by the IRS.
Glover told the Tahoe Daily Tribune the government wants at least $800,000, and could end up taking away as much as 75 percent.
[screengrab via WALB]