In March 2015, the US Attorney for the District of New Jersey filed a civil forfeiture complaint against Wealthy Max Limited and several other companies involved in the recovery and redemption of mutilated US coins. This complaint contained numerous errors and misrepresentations of the facts, all of which have been effectively rebutted by Wealthy Max. Unfortunately, several media outlets took the government’s complaint at face value and ran stories based on its most sensational allegations, which are also the most misleading.
For example, there is a claim that an [unnamed] official from the US Mint said that more half dollar coins were redeemed by Chinese companies than had ever been produced is clearly false, because there is no way to know how many half dollar coins have been redeemed. All clad coins, dimes, quarters and half dollars are submitted to the US Mint in mixed crates and they are melted together. Thus, it is impossible to even estimate how many half dollar coins have been redeemed.
The complaint’s statement that no pennies, and only a few nickels, have been redeemed is simply untrue. Wealthy Max provided the government with comprehensive data that proved it has shipped pennies and nickels to the US Mint for redemption. These coins were redeemed until changes in the price of their underlying metals made it uneconomical to continue shipping them.
Additionally, the complaint cites an ‘analysis’ of trade data that purports to show that it would require some $900 in coins per scrapped automobile to account for all the coins redeemed by the companies named in the complaint. While the underlying data that led to this finding are never revealed, it clearly shows that the government does not understand how most scrap aluminum is sent to China for processing. It is shredded and loaded into containers for shipping. This shredded aluminum waste, called zorba in the trade, comes from many types of products, including automobiles. Further, the statement also misses the point that Wealthy Max’ suppliers process aluminum scrap from a wide range of sources, not just automobiles, and further, Wealthy Max does not just source coins from aluminum scrap, but also from incinerated waste and other sources.
A sample of this early coverage of the RealCoinCase can be found via the links below:
China Daily USA
The following are a series of articles following the evolution of therealcoincase from American Metal Market (AMM). American Metal Market is the online resource for metals industry news and proprietary pricing information covering the steel, non-ferrous and scrap markets. Since its first print issue published in 1882, AMM has been the trusted name in metals industry information.