A precious-metals dealer with offices in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach has declared bankruptcy in Santa Ana federal court and is facing a Secret Service probe, an attorney for multiple debtors said today.
Tulving Co. filed the Chapter 11 bankruptcy claim March 10, claiming $1 million to $10 million in liabilities to up to 49 creditors.
Walnut Creek-based attorney Chuck Marshall said he represents 25 of Tulving's clients, who are owed a total of $1.2 million, with a range of $10,000 up to $250,000.
A Newport Beach man is owed $1 million and a San Clemente man is owed nearly $319,000, according to the bankruptcy filing.
About a month ago, Secret Service representatives contacted Marshall, asking for help tracking down attorneys who represented the company's owner, Hannes Tulving Jr., Marshall said.
"Right now, though, everything's in a holding pattern as we're waiting to see what happens with the Chapter 11 bankruptcy," Marshall said.
A message left with Tulving's bankruptcy attorney Andrew Bisom of Irvine was not immediately returned.
A class action lawsuit filed in Northern California with a court order to freeze Tulving's assets is also pending, but attorneys have so far been unable to serve Tulving, according to Marshall.
Tulving filed a "skeletal" bankruptcy claim because attorneys have been having trouble accessing the company's records, which have been seized by federal authorities, Marshall said.
Tulving's customers would wire him cash and he would mail them silver or gold coins, Marshall said.
"He was taking orders from people all the way up to the Friday he closed the doors and declared bankruptcy," Marshall said.
--City News Service