Wealthy Max Limited, originally named Glory Smart Limited, was, until 2014, one of the largest suppliers of mutilated coins to the U.S. Mint’s Mutilated Coin Redemption Program. Between 2002 and 2014 it had successfully sent over 170 shipments of mutilated coins to the U.S. Mint, all of which had been sourced as a by-product of China’s vast recycling industry. But what are the origins of Wealthy Max?
Wealthy Max, started as many small yet successful businesses start, by chance. In 2000, two friends, Wong Kwok Fai, “Matthew”, an accountant at a Big Six auditing firm, and Chan Kai Yan, “Dickey”, a civil engineer with one of Hong Kong’s leading real estate developers, received a package of damaged coins from a mutual friend in China. Their friend owned a scrap metal recycling facility in Foshan, an industrial city not far from Hong Kong, and was interested in knowing whether there was a market for these damaged coins that were found among the scrap aluminum he was processing.
More out of curiosity than as part of a formal business plan, Matthew and Dickey, purchased a World Encyclopedia of Coins and set about identifying the coins by country and denomination. Once they did that, they wrote letters to the mints where the coins came from to determine if they would accept damaged coins for redemption. Ultimately, the two friends identified over ten programs and determined that there may be a business opportunity in redeeming these coins, if enough coins could be found.
Fortunately for Matthew and Dickey, the timing was right. China’s recycling industry was experiencing explosive growth and with significant increases in recyclable waste being imported. The growth of the recycling industry led to a corresponding increase in the amount of coins recovered. By 2002, the two had founded Glory Smart and had made arrangements to purchase recovered coins from several large recycling companies in Foshan.
Over the years the business grew to involve participation in coin redemption programs with over 20 countries, the largest being the U.S. Additionally, Glory Smart, now Wealthy Max had established a sophisticated coin sorting, washing and packing system that increased both efficiency and quality assurance. The final stage before the coins were shipped to their home markets was an inspection by SGS S.A., the world’s largest inspection, testing and certification company.
Hard work and entrepreneurial spirit served Matthew and Dickey well, as their company grew over the years to become a multi-million dollar business. This lasted until 2014, when Wealthy Max was falsely accused by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security of attempting to redeem counterfeit coins with the U.S. Mint. As a result of this accusation Wealthy Max had several shipments of coins, as well as funds owed to the company, seized by the U.S. government, under what is known as Civil Asset Forfeiture. This website is devoted to exploring the details of this miscarriage of justice.
WM Shipment Timeline
Wealthy Max has been a supplier in good standing of the US Mint’s Mutilated Coin Redemption Program since 2002. Prior to the Government’s filing of the civil forfeiture complaint against the company and the concurrent suspension of the Mint’s program, Wealth Max had an unblemished record of over 170 shipments…read more…
WM Business Model Graphics