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JG

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Reply with quote  #46 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stacker
Since people held cash in their BD accounts...what laws & regs apply to BD? Similar to any retail bank? What kind of reporting & auditing of cash accounts, and what government agencies are relevant? What happens to our cash now BD now since they "suspended operations"? What can be done to force compliance, get our cash out (whatever is left), force some kind of interaction with BD (for "free"--without the use of lawyers) in the context of banking regs?


That is a very good question. And I do not know the answer to it.

It is very normal for customers to have credit balances with companies. For example, if I mow lawns, and someone overpays by $10, I would "credit their account" and owe them $10. But I might not have $10 sitting in the bank.

This, of course, is different in several ways (e.g. soliciting people to send money to have in their accounts knowing they will not use up exactly 100% on orders, and paying people for metal and having the money go to an account). I'm not sure where that line in drawn (if someone knows, or researches and finds out, please speak up).

This is another big question -- how much cash is there compared to what cash there *should* be if the business was run properly?

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Khachir7

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Reply with quote  #47 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stacker
I know nothing about the business of banking or banking laws & regulations, so not sure how to ask the right questions...

Since people held cash in their BD accounts...what laws & regs apply to BD? Similar to any retail bank? What kind of reporting & auditing of cash accounts, and what government agencies are relevant? What happens to our cash now BD now since they "suspended operations"? What can be done to force compliance, get our cash out (whatever is left), force some kind of interaction with BD (for "free"--without the use of lawyers) in the context of banking regs?

Hopefully that sort of made sense. I got all my cash out in time (it wasn't much). But not all of my product.


Unfortunately, since BD is not registered as a bank, none of the stringent banking regulations apply. The cash was held as a credit on each of our accounts; no reporting or audits required. Not sure what gov agency is relevant for private companies. JG: do you know which agencies were involved in the Tulving case? Thanks!

In any case, right now - and all along - our cash and metal were at the CEO's mercy. Although cannot see how he can escape legal punishment of some sort for wrongdoing in this case. JG: how does the gov allow such companies to operate in the first place, without any oversight that is?
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JG

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Reply with quote  #48 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khachir7
... Not sure what gov agency is relevant for private companies. JG: do you know which agencies were involved in the Tulving case? ... JG: how does the gov allow such companies to operate in the first place, without any oversight that is?


For Tulving, there was no customer cash accounts involved. People would only send money when they were ordering. So if I bought some gold and sent a check, it would be deposited into Tulving's account as a business normally would. If you sold metal, you would get a check. There was no pre-funding accounts, or sales being credited to you. So no government agency (that I know of) was investigating that aspect.

As for the second question, there may be oversight that we are not yet aware of. And for all we know, the government agency was doing their job, BD sent the appropriate reports, and BD has all the cash in customer accounts. As for why the government would allow companies to operate like that without oversight, it would likely be because there haven't historically been many complaints of people having cash accounts with a company and not being able to get the money.

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LoneStarHog

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Reply with quote  #49 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JG
One possibility -- this falls into the "pure speculation category" -- is that Bullion Direct had not just been putting stuff in their catalog, but also offering it on Nucleo. Perhaps to make more money, perhaps for no real reason, or perhaps to make up for a previous lack of sellers. And then when the financial issues started, and people started getting let go, whoever took care of that stopped doing so.



Bullion Direct was a very active Market Maker in Nucleo.  I could always pick out their trades.  When I had lunch with Charles this was one of the topics discussed.  I asked him directly if he was active in Nucleo and he confirmed it.  This is what made Nucleo viable for many people.  It was also a good source of revenue for Bullion Direct.

I can say with 99.99% certainty that the present Ask for 10 1000oz CMX silver bars is Bullion Direct. The same for the Ask for 10 Mint Sealed Crates of Silver Eagles.

Bullion Direct was also on the Bid for most items.  For example, when you saw a Bid for 500 10oz CMX silver bars, that was Bullion Direct.

In the early days it was possible to play the delta between the Catalog and Nucleo, which I did for some very profitable days.  However, the software was changed/updated to no longer allow this.

Anyways, Bullion Direct always did a great job as Market Maker in the Nucleo market.

Hog

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tim

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Reply with quote  #50 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BOB
Just curious if anyone has stopped by the office at 700 Lavaca St. in Austin to see if anyone is manning the office?


I just stopped by there, and the receptionist for the 14th floor told me they weren't currently in the office without checking anything. She asked for my name and phone number and told me someone would give me a call. 

The building itself is called Austin Suites, and according to their website, they offer "virtual office packages". So it's quite possible that no one actually works at that location.
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JG

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Reply with quote  #51 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tim
Quote:
Originally Posted by BOB
Just curious if anyone has stopped by the office at 700 Lavaca St. in Austin to see if anyone is manning the office?


I just stopped by there, and the receptionist for the 14th floor told me they weren't currently in the office without checking anything. She asked for my name and phone number and told me someone would give me a call. 

The building itself is called Austin Suites, and according to their website, they offer "virtual office packages". So it's quite possible that no one actually works at that location.


Oh boy, I think you hit the jackpot.

Bullion Direct rents -- or rented -- the lower level of the building, the entire floor, about 7400SF. The lease was due to expire on October 31, 2014, with an option to renew for 5 years. In late 2014, they were showing "700 Lavaca St. LL1" as their mailing address; now they show "14th Floor" or "Suite 1400" as their contact address. That's Austin Suites, which rents out tiny offices.

So it looks like they did not renew the lease, shipped all the bullion to Delaware, switched to using a fulfillment company and now need few, if any, employees.

Wow.

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tboll

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Reply with quote  #52 
So right now the only sign of life that BD still exists is a web site and a forum??  I used to host my domain name on a hosting service for several years but then I decided to just pay the hosting service to renew my domain name and not bother with maintaining the site.  They never took down my web site and 3 years after the last payment for service, my website is still up.  I don't really think that a website is much reason to believe that someone is still actively involved.
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JG

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Reply with quote  #53 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tboll
So right now the only sign of life that BD still exists is a web site and a forum??  I used to host my domain name on a hosting service for several years but then I decided to just pay the hosting service to renew my domain name and not bother with maintaining the site.  They never took down my web site and 3 years after the last payment for service, my website is still up.  I don't really think that a website is much reason to believe that someone is still actively involved.


I definitely agree with you. Websites and forums are normally designed to stay online until someone shuts them down, and are often hosted with 1-year contracts. The Tulving website was up for many months after they shut down.


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Khachir7

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Reply with quote  #54 
Back to my Q#1: is the CEO even around??
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nobody

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Reply with quote  #55 
Bulliondirect has hosts (or services) in "Core NAP" and "Contegix" datacenters, and is currently utilizing a number of resources from AWS' cloudfront for CDN traffic.  I don't know about the datacenters themselves (though they seems like regular colos), but AWS is almost 100% credit-card post-pay monthly by usage.

So - no, I don't know he's around currently, but in some non-zero amount of time, if the credit card doesn't clear for AWS, pieces of the site will begin to fall offline - at which point a lack of update (or email bouncing or...) would be pretty firm indication he's skidaddled on at least one of his providers that most certainly enforces bill collection.

I plan to trawl the tubes a bit later this evening to see if there's any news of filings for bdi or mcallister.

- n


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JG

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Reply with quote  #56 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khachir7
Back to my Q#1: is the CEO even around??


According to someone who stopped by today, apparently not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nobody
I plan to trawl the tubes a bit later this evening to see if there's any news of filings for bdi or mcallister.


I check PACER every few days (which should show it, but might not), and (for free) have been checking https://ecf.txwb.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/rss_outside.pl which I'm guessing will show it. The link is the Western Texas bankruptcy court, which is supposed to cover Austin. I'm searching that page for "Bullion", "Nucleo" and "McAllister" (there is a different McAllister that keeps showing up).

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stacker

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Reply with quote  #57 
In keeping with the thread title, and I realize probably no one has the answers yet...

I wonder what's the current relationship between IDS and BD? I wonder if this whole thing came about due to a severe miscommunication, or severe misalignment of expectation regarding their new business relationship? Like, IDS simply couldn't be arsed to fufill BD's orders on BD's schedule? BD thought they would have the fungible assets, and IDS didn't want to / can't ship 1/400th of a 400 oz bar as an eagle? All this exacerbated by the inevitable 'run on the bank' to put us in our current quandary.

And so I wonder if the current relationship is very adversarial between the two, with everybody all lawyered up months ago?

JD, you say the lease at 700 Lavaca St ended in October, but the property tax rolls show that they own the place (unpaid bill notwithstanding)? If they sold the 1st floor suite, might the new owner (not relevant to our adventure) show up in the forthcoming 2015 appraisal, and the 1st floor sale + move to the 14th floor would be a rational explanation for the unpaid tax bill?

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JG

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Reply with quote  #58 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stacker
JD, you say the lease at 700 Lavaca St ended in October, but the property tax rolls show that they own the place (unpaid bill notwithstanding)? If they sold the 1st floor suite, might the new owner (not relevant to our adventure) show up in the forthcoming 2015 appraisal, and the 1st floor sale + move to the 14th floor would be a rational explanation for the unpaid tax bill?


It looks like the Texas property tax is paid by the tenant (e.g. they show a lot of people as "owning" suites on the 14th floor, which really appears to be owned by Austin Suites). But yes, whether someone buys or rents that floor, it should show up in the next property tax update.

But I believe that it would be irresponsible to show it as delinquent, unless they actually did not receive the tax bill on time.

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