As if Tampa gold and coin dealer Mark Yaffe didn't have enough problems, he's now being pursued by the government of Austria.
From September 2008 to April 2009, the Austrian Mint delivered 1,500 gold coins worth about $650,000 to Yaffe's company, National Gold Exchange. Yaffe was supposed to sell them on consignment. But his July bankruptcy filing put a halt to that. Austria wants its Vienna Philharmonic gold coins back.
Yaffe's top creditor is Sovereign Bank, a Boston lender owed $36 million. Yaffe is seeking court approval of a reorganization plan that aims to pay off creditors through 2016.
The bank isn't buying it. Among its criticisms of the plan is Yaffe's contention that he requires $74,000 a month to maintain the 30,000-square-foot mansion he's trying to sell for $25 million in Tampa's Avila neighbhorhood.
Austria has hired an American lawyer to represent it in bankruptcy court.