Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012 | 10:19 a.m.
CARSON CITY — A District Court judge today certified that a substitute school teacher from California is the rightful heir to $7.4 million in gold coins discovered in the garage of a reclusive man who died in May.
Arlene Magdon, who was not present in the courtroom, is a first cousin of Walter Samasko Jr., who lived in Carson City.
There were no objections to the designation of Magdon, of San Rafael, Calif., as the heir.
The 2,695 gold coins, some dating to the 1880s, were discovered in boxes in Samasko’s garage among cartons of tuna.
It was a month — only after neighbors complained of an odor coming from Samasko’s house in Carson City — before anybody realized he had died. He had few friends and lived alone on $500 a month from stock investments, officials said.
Carson City Clerk-Recorder Alan Glover said some or all of the coins will be sold to cover an estimated $800,000 inheritance tax due the Internal Revenue Service in March.
After that, Glover said, the money or coins can be released to Magdon, who has not replied to requests for comment. She has hired a financial adviser, Glover said.