Uncle Sam is going to get first crack at $7.4 million in gold coins left hidden away by a recluse who died without a will.
District Judge James Wilson today set a date of Feb. 26 to auction off some of the gold coins to pay off $800,000 in inheritance taxes due in March.
The rest of the estate will go to Arlene Magdanz of San Rafael, Calif., a first cousin of Samasko who was determined to be his only living relative.
Samasko, who lived alone on $500 a month from stock investments, died in May at his home in Carson City. It was a month -- only after neighbors complained of an odor coming from the house -- before anybody realized he had died.
During a cleanup of his house, 2,695 gold coins from various countries were discovered in boxes in the garage, among cartons of tuna.
The auction will be held at the courthouse.
"It's going to be a real auction with those interested provided paddles to place their bid, and they will be seated in the jury box of the courtroom," said Carson City Clerk Alan Glover, administrator of the estate.
The coins will be on display and there will be armed guards in the courtroom.
There have been about a half dozen inquiries about bidding on the collection, Glover said.
The coins will be sold in lots or 10 or 11, and the minimum bid must be at least 98.5 percent of the price of gold on the day of the auction. The winning bidders must pay within 24 hours.
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