The Case of the Stolen Coins

Silver Theft

Our client had secreted in a secured area a number of silver coins, valued at over $1,000,000. During the course of an inventory the business owner discovered that $200,000 worth of the coins were missing. J.J. Gradoni and Edna Velez initiated the investigation by interviewing the two individuals that had keys and access to the secured area. The first employee that was interviewed told Investigators that she had observed the other employee with access loading boxes in the trunk of her car. The boxes the suspect was observed with were identical to the boxes containing the coins in the secured area.

Interviews were also conducted with other employees who advised that the suspect had bragged about having her home paid for and the purchase of numerous expensive items. A search was then conducted of the employee’s locker, which produced a receipt, from a coin dealership in Pasadena, for the sale of $10,000 worth of silver coins.

The suspect was interviewed jointly by Chief Investigator J.J. Gradoni and Edna Velez. During the course of the interview the suspect admitted taking the coins and also admitted she had $36,000 in cash at her home that was from the proceeds of the sale of some of the stolen coins. The suspect also identified other locations where she had sold the coins for 25% of their value.

When asked what she thought should be done with the $36,000 at her home, the suspect first appeared to be confused. Edna Velez informed her that since the money didn’t belong to her it would probably be a good idea for her to return it, in a sign of good faith. The suspect responded by saying that she would bring the money back the next morning. Edna Velez explained to the suspect that it would be better if we went to her home then and retrieved he money which she reluctantly agreed to do. When we arrived at the suspect’s home we found that she had $36,000 in $100 bundles in a Fiesta bag, secreted in her wash room. After the retrieval the suspect was, of course, fired.

Attorney Phillip Hilder, the business owner’s attorney, then utilized our investigation, statements and tape recordings to put together a package to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office for Prosecution.

Return to the March 2015 Investigator’s Newsletter