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So you found the TREASURE - now what?
06-11-2013, 09:15 PM,
#31
So you found the TREASURE - now what?
Remove, thanksSmile
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06-11-2013, 10:02 PM,
#32
So you found the TREASURE - now what?
Remove, thanksSmile
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06-11-2013, 11:21 PM,
#33
So you found the TREASURE - now what?
<b>DISCLAIMER #1: BELOW ARE JUST OPINIONS FROM WHAT I WAS TOLD BY A LAWYER WHO THINKS THIS WHOLE THING IS CRAZY ANYWAY</b>

I sat down with a friend's sister a few weeks back who is an attorney and used to be a federal prosecutor and asked her about some of this. Her main point being that you can shout it from the rooftops that you found it but you don't have to say where and there are no laws that can force you to. She said it's covered by the 5th Amendment.



I also showed her that article when Ranger Smith (or whatever that park ranger's name was) that appeared in one of the NM papers when he said that the chest would belong to the Federal Gov't. if found on federal land. She said that statement is completely false and just another example of someone who is supposed to enforce laws not understanding them. (She got a mean look from her husband when she said that. He's a local cop. LOL)



Like Wolf said, since clearly the origins of this chest have been highly publicized, the rightful owner of it until it is found is FF. Once it is found however, the rightful owner is the finder by way of "implied transfer of title" because he states this, in print, in his book. Even if FF wanted the chest back after someone finds it, he couldn't even win a court case based on this fact alone.



My friend also looked into the specific laws governing the removal of items from federal lands, parks, etc. and said that these are all with regard to either native (mineral rights, etc.), historical or archaeological finds. The treasure is an item of personal property, so the government has no claim on it unless there is illegal contraband inside (drugs, etc.) or if any of the items were obtained illegally or stolen.



Dan S. cites the above issue with Spain. Completely different circumstances. That ship was the property of the Spanish government, as were its contents. If there's an item or two in the chest (such as the Spanish ring) that can have it's origins traced back to another nation's registry of antiquities or other lineage of prior claim to it, then one might have to forfeit that item, but I highly doubt there's anything in there that would qualify.



If some of the pre-Columbian artifacts in the chest were perhaps part of that FBI investigation, the burden of proof still lies with the feds or whoever as to the origin of the item(s). No small task (it's not like these things have serial numbers on them) and most likely not worth the time and money to pursue it for one or two trinkets.



<b>DISCLAIMER #2: I'M NOT A CPA. I FILE A 104EZ FORM. WHAT SAY BELOW IS MY INTERPRETATION FROM WHAT I READ ON THE IRS WEBSITE</b>

As for the tax implications, I looked into that on my own on the IRS website (gift taxes, capital gains, etc.) and it's pretty straight-forward as Wolf mentioned. FF would have to pay a gift tax on an estimated value and the finder only pays taxes on what he/she sells it for minus the "cost basis" which would be what FF paid for the treasure or the "Fair Market Value" at the time of the gift being made. PLUS you get to add what FF pays as a gift tax to the cost of the treasure, up to the "Fair Market Value". The cost basis for the items that he found would be zero (you pay tax on the total sale price) but if FF kept a comprehensive list of how much he paid for the other items, you would only pay the tax on the difference. Hopefully he could provide that list to the finder. He said he thought of everything, so maybe he did. It might even be in the chest. Who knows?



The tax thing gets a little complicated and maybe by the time someone actually finds the treasure, the IRS won't exist anymore. LOL



If anyone wants to fry their brains on some of it, here's a link:



http://www.irs.gov/publications/p551/ar0...1000257001





Personally, I would tell FF that I found it and give him his bracelet and let him announce that it was found any way he wants. If he gave out my name and wanted me to do a couple of interviews with him, I would really, REALLY hate to, but I would do it for him. I'd probably send my little brother to pose as me. LOL



I would have the treasure appraised by Sotheby's or Christie's and let them auction it off in its entirety. I'd consult with a tax expert (the auction houses are also great advisers on this) and pay the taxes. Selling it this way would more than likely ensure that it remains intact by the wealthy new owner/collector and, who knows, they might even hide it again and TTOTC Part 2 begins?



My bottom line: If I'm lucky enough to find it, I'm not worried. Those would be good problems to have.
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06-12-2013, 12:07 AM,
#34
So you found the TREASURE - now what?
Peacemaker,

Thank you for taking the time to submit this very informative post. I am surprised that I was even close to what you have posted. I will give it a good read to see what other goodies are there.

The Wolf
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06-12-2013, 12:13 AM,
#35
So you found the TREASURE - now what?
Rick,

I should start writing down some of your quotes. I could use them on the young guys at work! I really like the one about not doing anything when you don't know what to do. That actually works!



I like your story about the 9 year old girl. I think she could solve the poem. I think there still is an element of common sense that is being missed at times.

The Wolf
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06-12-2013, 12:17 AM,
#36
So you found the TREASURE - now what?
Wow very informative Steve. I don't think the auction houses will give you any tax advice though. I asked when selling something with one of them and they said it's up to you to figure that out. They don't issue anything tax related to you...at least not in my case.
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06-12-2013, 12:33 AM,
#37
So you found the TREASURE - now what?
Remove, thanksSmile
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06-12-2013, 12:52 AM,
#38
So you found the TREASURE - now what?
Remove, thanksSmile





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06-12-2013, 02:06 AM,
#39
So you found the TREASURE - now what?
Seems Quantum is still in the hunt. Now he claims he's in "yellow stone" Rick do you know this guy? He seems pretty arrogant to me. I mean he claims a lot of trivia stuff but he seems to be no better off than the rest of us. Guess it goes to prove book knowledge ain't so important. I'm interested in seeing what he finds next, a coke can lol?
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06-12-2013, 02:36 PM,
#40
So you found the TREASURE - now what?
Peacemaker,

What you said in your most informative post makes a lot of sense. I think it would be important not to disclose the location and let the mystery remain somewhat in tact. It would be nice to put it in a museum tour for a year or so and then maybe have one of those auction houses sell it. It may be worth much more if sold in tact. If sold "parted out" each piece maybe also worth a lot more that its intrinsic value and would allow individuals a chance to own a part of this treasure. That may be more appealing to the dedicated searchers.



I am just thinking out loud - what do all of you think?



The Wolf
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