Bar owner returns silver dollars received instead of poker chips

Started by Bimat, June 25, 2011, 07:53:08 AM

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Bar owner returns coins he received by mistake
Vivian Ho, Chronicle Staff Writer

Friday, June 24, 2011

Paul Marino thought he was opening boxes of poker chips for his North Beach bar when he tore open the battered, sticker-laden packages Friday morning.

He thought it odd when he saw green plastic cases from a company called United States Mint. He thought it even odder when he found 15,000 silver coins, about three times the circumference of a quarter and four times as thick, stacked in plastic-lidded tubes.

At first, he was confused. And then he saw the invoice from American Precious Metals Exchange, which informed him that he had in his possession more than $82,000 in commemorative silver coins.

"Oh, my god," he said, recalling his reaction.

Marino, 44, had picked up the three packages at the UPS customer center on San Bruno Avenue two days earlier, thinking he was getting 4,000 chips that he uses as free-drink vouchers during happy hour at his bar, Columbus Cafe on Green Street.

It wasn't even a possibility in his mind that he had received the wrong packages - he had shown the clerk his driver's license.

Luckily for the person who was supposed to receive the packages, it was Marino who picked them up. Friday afternoon, he returned the boxes to UPS.

"The bottom line is, I live by karma," Marino said. "That's the way I was raised, that's the way I run my business here. Things always come around, and I got to do the right thing."

"I remember these packages," clerk Dan Lau said. "I know what they are."

Elizabeth Rasberry, a UPS spokeswoman, said it is company policy that clerks compare labels to customers' IDs before releasing packages.

"That shouldn't happen," she said, when told a clerk had checked Marino's ID and still handed him the wrong packages. Had Marino not returned the packages, the rightful recipient would have had to file a claim for the $82,000 worth of coins, Rasberry said.

After waiting 45 minutes, Marino got his poker chips.

Friday afternoon, the lights were off but the music was on in the almost-empty Columbus Cafe. Located just off busy Columbus Avenue, the bar has no difficulty drawing business. But it needs new windows, Marino said. It still carries some old debts. It could use a few more flat screens - all things $82,000 could have easily taken care of.

'Trust me, I thought about it. For one minute," Marino chuckled. "But it's not my money. People today walk around with whatever they can get away with, but if everyone was honest, we'd be living in a better world."

Source: SF Gate

Image Caption: Paul Marino mistakenly received boxes full of silver coins. "I live by karma," he said, and returned the packages to UPS.

It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.


Nice to know there are still honest people in this world.

Ukrainii Pyat

Донецк Украина Donets'k Ukraine



We enjoyed having you. We hope you enjoyed being had.


And now can I please see a photo of somebody who has just opened a box with supposedly $82,000 in silver coins ... only to find 4,000 plastic chips? ;D


Alan Glasser