A man from the French region of Normandy recently inherited a house from a deceased relative, only to discover his newly acquired home was actually a secret gold depository. Throughout the house, the man found a total of 220 lbs (3208.33 Troy oz.) of gold coins and bars totaling $3.7 million.
The man’s identity has yet to be released, but reports indicate he was in the process of preparing furniture for sale when he stumbled upon part of the horde.
Local auctioneer, Nicolas Fierfort, who had visited the home in order to appraise the furniture confirmed “5,000 gold pieces, two bars of 12 kilos and 37 ingots of 1 kilo” were found in total.
Fierfort also said the golden contents were “extremely well hidden” and scattered throughout the rest of the residence.
The first stash was a tin box of coins, which had been screwed to the underside of a piece of furniture. Like breadcrumbs leading the way home, the man continued finding gold coins in places like boxes to hold whiskey bottles, “under piles of linen, in the bathroom … everywhere,” according to Fierfort. Eventually, the two modern day Conquistadors stumbled upon the mother lode: 2 – 12 kilo gold bars. That’s 386 Troy ounces each.
A little detective work dated the gold’s purchase to sometime in the 1950s and 1960s. After the gold dust settled, the newly minted millionaire was able to locate the certificates of authenticity within the dead relative’s estate papers and eventually sell it to various buyers.
However, this story of good fortune doesn’t end as happily as we would like. Along with death comes taxes. It seems the French government will be hitting the man for a 45% inheritance tax along with charging him 3 years of back taxes because his deceased relative failed to declare the gold.