Where did the money go?

CoiNuts owner's home searched for coins, gold

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Kevin Mitchell talks with a Kootenai County Sheriff's Office deputy Wednesday as officers comb through his belongings at his Hayden Lake home.

HAYDEN LAKE - Kootenai County Sheriff's Office investigators spent Wednesday combing through the home of CoiNuts owner Kevin Mitchell looking for valuables.

About a dozen members of the sheriff's office showed up at Mitchell's home, located at 37593 E. Hayden Lake Road, first thing Wednesday morning.

A writ of execution signed by a 1st District Court judge cleared the way for detectives to take all gold, silver, coins, jewelry, cash, paintings, sculptures, guns, ammunition and electronics. They also searched the 5-acre property outside the home for valuables.

The sheriff's office brought a portable storage unit to Mitchell's home - which is estimated to have 4,000 to 5,000 square feet of floor space - and hired a moving company for the day.

As his home was being searched, Mitchell, 47, roared off in his black Hummer, which had been seized a couple weeks ago but is now back in his possession.

The sheriff's office took action Wednesday after Mitchell failed to make good on a $420,000 default judgment, which is for money owed to CoiNuts customer Larry Brandenburg, of Coeur d'Alene. Brandenburg's attorney, John Magnuson of Coeur d'Alene, declined to comment on the sheriff's office action.

Lt. Stu Miller, of the sheriff's office, said handguns, rifles and ammunition were found along with multiple computers and TV sets.

A small safe was found and had "a very small amount of coins in it," he said. The items will all be inventoried.

The sheriff's office will hold the property until a sale can be arranged. Mitchell, however, has 14 days to challenge the seizure and sale of some items. Funds from a sale would be turned over to the court and then Brandenburg.

Miller said Mitchell directed sheriff's investigators to the items listed in the court order.

"He was very cooperative to us," Miller said.

Dozens of former CoiNuts customers have alleged that Mitchell swindled them out of thousands of dollars, but no criminal charges have been filed.

Last summer, when the sheriff's office did an asset seizure at the coin shop, located at 296 W. Sunset Ave., investigators spent two-and-a-half days doing an inventory of all the gold and silver rounded up.

"We had Rubbermaid tubs full of coins and stuff," Miller said.

After that seizure, though, a judge reversed his decision so the sheriff's office gave all the coins and valuables back.

The question everyone has been asking since: Where did all the money go?

Sheriff's deputies work with a moving company to seize valuables at the home of Kevin Mitchell.

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