Chump Change and Second-Rate Scandals


Via Sploid comes this ridiculous story out of Ohio, where authorities invested the state's $50 million workers' compensation fund in rare coins, "lost" a heap of them, and couldn't even think up a decent excuse. Reports the Toledo Blade:

The 119 missing coins are in addition to two coins worth $300,000 owned by the state that were lost in the mail in 2003, confirmed Jeremy Jackson, press secretary for the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation.

The state doesn't know what happened to any of the coins, Mr. Jackson said.

Whole thing here.

Fun profile of boy-genius coin-collector-turned-con-man here.

NEXT: Globo-Culture Revisited

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. The postal service does warn you against putting cash in the mail.

    Not because of their employees mind you….er because of other people..yeah.

  2. OK, that does it. Sploid is now bookmarked. I’m always a little slow with that stuff.

  3. …but if you act in the next ten minutes, you can invest your Social Security funds in special edition, 10 carat American Eagle dollar proofs.

  4. No way, joe. I’m putting my money into commemorative plates!

  5. Individually hand-painted commemorative state quarters. And Magic the Gathering cards.

  6. Beanie Babies. Really! They’ll be worth a fortune some day!

  7. We must keep Social Security accounts in the hands of government! Otherwise, people might invest as stupidly as the government!

  8. You all need to give up on the gimmicky fad investments, and follow the advice of responsible professionals.

    Like James Glassman, for example.

  9. Those t-shirts that they sold last Thursday on the Apprentice are a limited edition. I’m going to put my money in them!

  10. Anybody know where I can get some tulip bulbs? I hear they’ll be worth a fortune!

  11. Thoreau-
    Tulip investment is for Dutch chumps. My retirement will be funded via the sale of my Swarovski crystal collectible figurines, and my boyfriend’s comic book action figures.

  12. Jennifer, you will undoubtedly get a better return on those than on your SocSec payroll taxes.

  13. RC-
    And the Swarovski figurines have the added benefit of looking pretty in the meantime. Social Security benefit statements don’t fill the room with rainbows when the sunlight hits them; the room fills only with the sound of my cursing as I see just how little I can expect to get.

  14. Couldn’t they have, you know, insured the coins before they shipped them? Shit, I insure $100 items I send through the mail, let alone rare coins that are worth more than double my annual salary.

  15. Mo-
    Maybe they figured that buying insurance would be a waste of taxpayers’ money.

  16. Nah, it’s simpler than that. They’re government employees, so THEY DON’T CARE enough to do the insurance paperwork. Anybody want to take bets on how many people got fired over this? (I already got zero)

  17. -3…they had to hire more people to figure out who should have filled out what paperwork.

  18. Couldn’t they have, you know, insured the coins before they shipped them?

    Insurance companies have a nasty habit of actually *investigating* when the things they’ve insured mysteriously vanish into thin air.

  19. “Via (some news source) comes this ridiculous story out of Ohio,”

    That seems to be a common theme. Ohio is pretty ridiculous. Economically protectionist and socially conservative, Ohio provides plenty of fodder for us (Ohio Patriot Act, Ohio Student Bill of Rights, Milford High School drug bust, Gay Marriage Amendment, proposed state-wide smoking ban, etc.).

  20. I was born in Ohio and I’m pretty ridiculous. I’m batting 1.000

  21. Using the phrase “the state’s 50 million dollar workers compensation fund” makes it sound like the whole fund is invested in rare coins. Actually the fund is around 21 billion. Personally I think the coins were a bad investment idea, but they aren’t the worst the state has had: the Public Employees Retirement System bought a chunk of SCOX when it was hovering around 17 dollars.

  22. Ohio, ridiculous as it may be, is an interesting cross-section of different social settings – urban centers and farm country – and then there’s Columbus, which is both at once.

  23. I was born in Ohio and I’m pretty ridiculous.

    Same here.

  24. Fellow Friend in Christ:

    I have prayed for many months to find a child of God to help us. I am riting to you from a poor, rural state in America called ?Ohio?. My father, Mr. Smith, a high officiel in the Ohio goverment, has come across 21 rare coins, valued at the ecess of $500,000 US dollars. My father is curently in custody of the goverment for an undetermined amont of time. My family needs to get the coins out of the contry as soon as posible, and wish to do business with a fellow christen. We only ask for 20 percent of the final sale, so we can make arangments with the local oficials to get our father out of prison.

    Please respond as soon as posible. May Jesus bless you.

  25. “Nygumi”:

    Brilliant. I salute you.

  26. I hear that there’s a guy in Niger who could help Ohio out. He received millions of dollars in Iraq for the sale of uranium several years ago. He’s trying to move to the US, and he needs an account to store the money in temporarily as he transfers it to the US. If Ohio’s state treasurer just forwards him the necessary info, he’ll transfer the money through there and give Ohio a generous commission for their services.

  27. Yes, Ohio is a unique crossroads of midwest, east, and Appalachia. It’s a beautiful mix or cities and countryside. Cincinnati resembles neither Cleveland nor Columbus, and that’s awesome. The people are great. But boy I cannot think of many regulations that a majority of Ohioans would reject. Ohio is like the free-state project’s troubled twin: moderate but steady experimentation in statism.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.