Man Dumped 22 Pounds of Gold in the Trash to Keep From His Wife

There are many stories in the annals of divorce proceedings about the extremes spouses go through to keep money for themselves. Now, a report from Colorado that a man dumped 22 pounds of gold in the trash to keep from his wife.

Detailed in a story reported in The Gazette of Colorado Springs newspaper, the man, Earl Ray Jones, boasted he converted his life savings – $500,000 worth – into gold bars and coins, and hauled the loot off to a dumpster behind a local weekly rate hotel he moved into after the couple split after 25 years of marriage.”Damn right I did,” Jones, a 52-year-old former defense contractor stated in a deposition by his wife’s defense attorney.

Bank records obtained by the newspaper showed Jones cleaned out their retirement and investment accounts in May, and converted them into gold coins and bars through a Phoenix, Ariz. based precious metals broker, CMI Gold and Silver. A CMI representative told The Gazette that, based on average gold prices in May, a half-million dollars “would buy about 22 pounds” of gold.

Jones said in his deposition that, “after drinking wine and eating good food, he went out to the trash bin behind the hotel and “pitched” the gold.

“We say that when people are divorcing, they enter a state of temporary insanity,” John-Paul Lyle, the wife’s attorney told the newspaper.  “But on a scale of 1 to 10, this is my 10.”

Now, almost half a year later, recovering his half a million dollars of booty would be like recovering buried treasure. The hotel’s trash, you see, is collected and hauled off to the local county landfill.

“We accept up to 30,000 tons of trash during an average month,” Ken Manzo, district manager of the Fountain Landfill reported. Each load is dumped, spread out and compacted with heavy machinery, then covered with dirt to begin a new layer of trash. This process goes on and on, ton after ton, month after month. It’s not how he would have handled the situation, Manzo said.

“I would have rather dug a hole in the backyard,” he told the newspaper. Manzo said he’s not worried about treasure hunters, fortune seekers and scavengers embarking on a landfill gold rush. “The site is protected by surveillance cameras and monitored around the clock,” he said.If Jones’ story is true – and there is doubt – the buried treasure could become the center of a lengthy court battle. According to a spokesman for Waste Management, the Colorado Springs company that manages the landfill, anything sent to a landfill becomes the property of the landfill. But, in the case of a pending divorce, legal experts say, a husband couldn’t lawfully dispose of his wife’s assets, and she may be legally entitled to claim her share if it is ever found.

Jones boasted in his deposition he wanted to withdraw the money “in cash,” but the bank wouldn’t let him. His only recourse was to convert it into gold and collect it in increments, then dump it in the trash load by load, he claimed.

“If [cash] would have been an option, I would have been walking around giving people $100 bills,” he said.

 

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