Jakubczyk also claims that the IRS isn't "frowning" on Republic's system of setting up gold IRAs.

James D. Clark says the terms of the settlement prevent him from making any disparaging remarks about his dad's company.

New Times spoke with another former employee, however, who reiterated the younger Clark's concerns about clients taking physical possession of metals intended for their IRA accounts. But the bigger problem, says the employee (who asked that his name not be published) is that Republic is allowing clients to place collectible coins in their IRA accounts, which runs afoul of the U.S. tax code.

The prison mugshot of Sherman Unkefer
The prison mugshot of Sherman Unkefer

The reason Republic wants to sell customers collectible coins rather than bullion for their IRAs, the former employee says, is that the markups for collectibles are far higher — running as much as 50 percent over the coins' estimated worth.

Here's how it works: A customer loaded with money in an IRA account calls Republic, hoping to convert that money into precious metals. A check is sent to transfer the money from the IRA to an LLC formed by the customer, and the LLC (managed by the customer) buys the gold or silver and stores it somewhere. The precious metals are considered part of the IRA and aren't taxed.

A customer of Republic's, who also declined to be named, confirms he possesses collectible coins in the gold IRA that Republic helped set up, but he believes that the practice is within the law. He admits, however, that he didn't check first with an attorney before setting up his personal LLC to manage his IRA.

Jakubczyk was asked for Republic's opinion on placing collectible coins in IRAs, but he had not responded by press time.

Jim Clark and Republic face some challenging times.

Clark has had little time to devote to his business in the past year, given his lawsuits.

Viall's $3.5 million (plus interest) settlement dogs him.

His son continues to war with him. Jim Clark says he believes his son turned over data about clients to Unkefer, undermining the most important reason for his defense against the Unkefer/ORG lawsuit. And his son has raised questions that the IRS might want to find out the answers to.

Continued demand in the precious-metals market could help Jim Clark and his business, at least through next year. (Some experts predict that the price of gold could peak in 2013 at about $2,000 an ounce.) Clark may end up a millionaire, but if his son is to believed, Republic's CEO may also be headed for more trouble.

Unkefer, meanwhile, could be nearing a final showdown with the state, though the restitution case still may take another year or two to resolve, the County Attorney's Office says.

After revving up the 1988 criminal-restitution order in 2008, and following several court proceedings, Unkefer and the county are moving toward possible mediation or another court hearing, says Jerry Cobb, spokesman for County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

The county hired a financial analyst last month to review Unkefer's records and "assist the court in determining a payment plan" for Unkefer, he says.

Assistant County Attorney Davina Bressler, who is handling the case, has received plenty of those records, thanks to Mark Davidson.

Cobb says the county has located about one-third of the 1,293 victims of North American Coin and Currency identified in an earlier tally. But the county still is looking to hold Unkefer to the original $7.5 million restitution, toward which Unkefer so far has paid only $4,030.

"The county attorney has continued to pursue the case out of his stated commitment to hold criminals accountable for their crimes, regardless of how long it takes," Cobb says.

Yet whether Unkefer is held accountable remains to be seen. It seems just as possible that he and Jim Clark could ride off into the sunset, their pockets still stuffed with someone else's gold.

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I knew the Unkefers back in their Pre Paid Legal days.  Smooth talker, that Unkefer.  His wife Sharon was a jewel.  It makes me sick to my stomach to realize he was hiding behind her all along.  She was a hard worker, worked her fingers to the bone for that man.  I know for a fact that her four sons were her top priority and she would do anything for them. If she knew what was going on now... that her "beloved" husband was screwing over her four sons and her grandchildren, AND that he is literally screwing his first born son's wife, the mother of his own grandchildren, who was also the Unkefer's secretary... Oh my God.  This man is the scum of the earth. The BIGGEST hypocrite of them all. Go get him, Davidsons! 


I would like to bone that whore Laudry


I think a guy who didles his sons ex wife has got to be a real sleazeball.


I've worked in law firms for 24 years and this kind of crap happens ALL THE TIME!!!  I don't mind when the "job creators" do this stuff to each other, but when they hurt other people who aren't "job creators" I think they should be held against a wall and each of their victims should get to knee them in the balls.  There's a State of Arizona Bar Association board which deals with regulation of the lawyers - lawyers who are supposed to tell their clients when something is illegal - and that board doesn't seem to be getting the point across to the attorneys in this case that they're going to be held responsible for their inaction and even aiding the commission of white collar crimes.  



@fairymagic13 This kind of shit started once that Kenyan took office. No leadership at the top....

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