State of Idaho wins CoiNuts lawsuit


The Idaho attorney general’s office has won a $742,826 judgment against a closed North Idaho coin shop that customers say swindled them out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by failing to deliver gold and silver they paid for in advance.

The default judgment entered Friday in 1st District Court may not lead to anyone getting their money back, however. CoiNuts Inc. was dissolved as an Idaho corporation after its owners shut down the Coeur d’Alene shop in summer 2012 and consumer fraud complaints started piling up.

The attorney general’s office is pressing ahead with a lawsuit against former CoiNuts owner and president Kevin E. Mitchell, of Hayden Lake, and his stepdaughter, Sarah M. Mitchell, who helped run the store. They are accused of multiple violations of the Idaho Consumer Protection Act. A trial in that case is set for April 2014.

Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney Barry McHugh said Tuesday that his office continues to work with the Coeur d’Alene Police Department on an investigation of the Mitchells and a review of possible criminal charges.

The attorney general’s office is seeking restitution of $647,826 on behalf of 18 customers of CoiNuts, plus civil penalties and attorney costs.

Kevin Mitchell already has other large judgments against him as a result of separate lawsuits.

“I have no idea if he has any assets,” said Stephanie Guyon, deputy attorney general in the consumer protection division.


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