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All About Silver - ... the buck stops here ...
Republic Metals Corporation (RMC) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy - $90M gone, significant inventory discrepancy
Rust Rare Coin accused of $170M Ponzi scheme



Seemingly Incontrovertible Proof of Fraud

Disclaimer...

First, the disclaimer: I take defamation laws very seriously. I always strive for accurate reporting, and not to write anything disparaging unless necessary, and never want to write anything at all disparaging if untrue (even if the laws allow it). My understanding is that an accusation of fraud automatically is considered disparaging (meaning that if untrue, it would be against defamation laws). My intent here is [1] to state that it is my *opinion* that fraud occurred, [2] give you the facts that led me to my conclusion, and [3] let *you* decide what you think based on the facts. This accusation could (and should!) have been made by 3 different parties without concern of defamation (Chapter 11 Trustee Mark Calvert, the UCC's attorney, or the U.S. Trustee). I'm stuck in this situation where in order to fight for what is right, I have to risk getting very close to the edge of defamation laws (if my accusation is wrong). How can you get people to report fraud (that is being ignored by those responsible for addressing it) without saying that you think it is fraud? Please do not believe that anyone is guilty of fraud based on what I say; the intent of this page is to let you make your own informed decision based on facts.

The Allegation

The allegation is basically that NWTM President Paul Wagner's company Sierra Mint has used NWTM assets without authorization or payment to NWTM, which appears to be bankruptcy fraud. He allegedly started his company Sierra Mint in order to "take over" portions of NWTM (mainly the China business, but this has expanded into stock products and the Amazon store).

To be fair, Paul Wagner has declared under penalty of perjury that, among other things, "Sierra Mint... [has never] taken possession of or used assets of the bankruptcy estate." Calvert has similarly declared that "Neither the estate nor I have received any consideration from Sierra Mint to allow the use [sic] NWTM assets."

The Quick Proof - Pick One

I believe that if any of the following "proofs" are true, bankruptcy fraud has been committed:

1. The NWTM Amazon seller account now lists its customer service phone number as 775-442-4254. That's the phone number of Sierra Mint. It is obvious that the NWTM Amazon seller account is part of the bankruptcy estate (it has not been sold), and with the phone number now listed as Sierra Mint's phone number, Sierra Mint is using an NWTM asset (contrary to what has been said). That page also uses the NWTM registered trademark, an asset of the estate, without authorization.

NWTM Amazon AccountSierra Mint



2. Every single product on the Sierra Mint products page is an NWTM product: Challenge Coin,Lapel Pin, Key Chain, Award, Dog Tag, Coasters, Belt Buckle, Bottle Opener, Packaging. NWTM created those images, so the images should be property of the NWTM estate (the NWTM website has a registered copyright; the NWTM designs should automatically be copyrighted), so use of them contradicts what Calvert declared. Second, how can Sierra Mint create those products for customers without using the NWTM art/designs (which I assume are an asset of the estate)?

NWTM Images Sierra Mint Products Page
 

3. Sierra Mint's has a blog page that copies over 600 words verbatim from a copyrighted NWTM webpage. 'nuf said.

 

4. Sierra Mint offered to make 'zombie' coins for a potential customer based off an NWTM design, so close to the original that "you should see no difference whatsoever." NWTM employee Jenifer Baker referred NWTM customers to Sierra Mint, stating that "I do not have access to those dies, however I can refer you to a company that can place a reorder using your existing dies." Calvert made it crystal clear that his opinion was that all dies belong to NWTM. And even if new dies are made, the zombie coin is a design owned by NWTM (not made for a specific customer), so NWTM should own the design.






5. Wagner stated that Sierra Mint does not use NWTM's customer list. However, evidence shows that NWTM's Jenifer Baker was referring customers to Sierra Mint (same link as in #4 above). Internal NWTM emails show that an NWTM salesperson (now a Sierra Mint employee) was looking for permission to send referrals to Sierra Mint less than 2 weeks after NWTM shut down. Perhaps they are techically not using the customer list, but taking leads. Leads are presumably the property of NWTM.



Beyond that, there is more proof, but it is harder to clearly identify (or cannot be shared). For example, I have seen indications that Sierra Mint has copied the text from the header cards of stock product (NWTM owns the copyright ), and is including the NWTM part number and UPC codes on those header cards (again, if true, likely a violation of bankruptcy laws -- the UPC codes cost NWTM about $2,100/year to maintain). And the Sierra Mint Amazon store sells (only!) NWTM products, but Wagner claims that Sierra Mint has not used assets of the estate. Where is Sierra Mint getting these products?

More information about Sierra Mint is available here.



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