In February of 2011 I decided to sell my position in silver to Steven Teitelbaum, my coin dealer. He did not pay me that day, promising the money the following day. When I called the following day he apologised and said the money would take a week to put together. To make a long story short, 4 months after the transaction I was still chasing him.
He then offered me a "deal". He said he was a bit tight for cash and if I lent him an extra $30k (he owed me $55k), that I could expect a payment of $9k per week over a 10 week period. Given that my sale to him was basically on a handshake (yes, some would call that stupid but I've done previous business with this man in this manner), and I was therefore not in a position to sue, I agreed, allowing me to putting together a promissory note, which I had him sign with a notary present.
He then proceeded to default on the note, all the while making the most earnest promises about one deal or another he was working on, which would allow him to pay me off. I was patient, kind and understanding to a fault, wishing to avoid antagonising him, and knowing that the best possible outcome from a lawsuit would be a judgement, which would leave me in the awkward position of having to collect. By his own admission, he had transferred all his assets to his wife and then divorced her, to avoid other collection efforts. I therefore played it nice, hoping that as long as we remained on friendly terms, he would honour his debt to me.
In March 2012 he recounted to me that an old client of his had called and threatened him. I was sympathetic to him, never having been threatened in my life and expressed to him my concern for his safety. He said he was having the FBI look into the matter.
A few days later he texted me to say that this old client had continued to threaten him and that this time my name had somehow come up. He then accused me of being behind these supposed accusations and demanded that I withdraw the threats or else I could kiss his debts good bye.
At that point, and after hearing so many unlikely stories across the months, it dawned on me that, contrary to his every statement, this man had never had the intention to pay me back.
In point of fact, I have since run into another man (a friend of a friend) with a similar grievance. Mr. Teitelbaum sold him precious metal coins for a sum larger than mine and never delivered the coins. That transaction took place over 3 years ago and this fellow, also not having any written contract, just wrote off the sum.
My advice for anyone dealing with Teitelbaum: don't. if you must, get your goods and/or cash first. do not trust him like I did. I'm very sorry because $90k is not a sum one can write off easily.
Nor will I. I will soon be bringing suit against him and his company.