It's not uncommon for couples in the midst of a divorce to try to hide money or other assets from one another. Most, however, won't go to the extreme that one many from Teller County, Colorado, claims he did. According to the 52-year-old, he took the couple's investment and retirement accounts - $500,000 - and converted it into gold. What the man said he did next is shocking. He says he threw the gold away.
That admission may be difficult to believe, but it is what the man said at a divorce hearing in June. He was ordered by the judge in the divorce case to pay $3,000 a month in alimony. His soon-to-be ex-wife still hasn't seen any money from her estranged husband.
The gold was allegedly thrown in a Colorado Springs motel Dumpster, according to the man during a deposition in July. According to transcripts from that deposition, the man had originally tried to get cash from his bank, but the tellers at the bank weren't able to give it to him. He decided to withdraw the couple's life savings and have it converted to gold.
He didn't dump the gold all at once, though. It was done over the course of several trips to the Dumpster. Even though the story is absurd, the man was able to prove he converted the cash into gold with bank records.
Currently, the man is in jail after a conviction for menacing stemming from an assault against his wife in March. He has an upcoming hearing for sentencing in that case in November.
Anyone who has thoughts of searching the landfill where the gold would have ended up may want to reconsider. There would likely be a court battle, as usually the trash that ends up in a landfill is the property of the landfill. However, a district manager for the landfill said that he doesn't remember "any drivers walking off the job with a smile in May." There's a bit of disbelief that the man actually tossed the gold. Most people believe that it's hidden somewhere.
This is an extreme case of trying to avoid property division during a divorce. Family law attorneys can advise their clients on how to best approach this part of a divorce. There are laws governing the division of marital property and assets that must be followed. Your attorney can provide answers to questions you may have about how that property may be split.
Source: gazette.com, "Teller County man claims he dumped gold in landfill during divorce dispute" Lance Benzel, Oct. 24, 2013