A Romanian couple being deported from the United States for their alleged role in a $68 million tax evasion scheme may have left behind as much as $2.7 million in gold and silver coins they once hoarded in a “fully stocked doomsday bunker,” court documents reveal.
Radu and Diana Nemes, who were arrested in March at the couple’s 53-acre property with a fully-furnished underground bunker in Yelm, Wash., have waived extradition to Romania, according to court documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The Nemeses are wanted in the European nation for allegedly selling nearly 1 million tons of diesel fuel to its government, but then falsely reported that the product was lower grade industrial and maritime fuel, thereby avoiding $68.9 million in taxes.
" ... [S]he and her husband expected law enforcement to eventually arrive and the sophisticated surveillance system at their home suggests they were watching carefully for signs of law enforcement."
- Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman Barbosa
Federal prosecutors allege that the Nemeses used laundered money to operate a number of shell businesses in Romania. Investigators found an extensive array of weapons at their compound during a March 18 raid, including four pistols and an AR-15 assault rifle.
“The Nemeses’ illegal possession of multiple firearms, coupled with their access to a fully stocked doomsday bunker, suggests they were prepared for an extended standoff with law enforcement,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman Barbosa said in court documents. “Indeed, Ms. Nemes has conceded that she and her husband expected law enforcement to eventually arrive, and the sophisticated surveillance system at their home suggests they were watching carefully for signs of law enforcement.”
The extensive bunker, which could be sealed from the inside, featured multiple diesel generators, solar power features, a battery backup system and water filtration mechanisms. Investigators also found 88 gold coins and 10,500 silver coins — a fraction of what an FBI forensic accountant believes the couple has buried on its property or elsewhere. Two neighbors said they helped the couple bury some of the gold on their property to retrieve at a later date and subsequent searches of the properties with ground-penetrating radar have not located the remaining $2,748,498 still unaccounted for, court documents show.
Diana Nemes, who is reportedly pregnant with her third child, has been transported to Romania, her attorney, Martha Boersch, told FoxNews.com. Nemes' husband, meanwhile, also waived extradition, but has not been transported yet, attorney Neil Fox told FoxNews.com.
Investigators allege they laundered the proceeds of their tax scheme via banks in Dubai and the United States before fleeing Romania in 2012. They then allegedly established several businesses in Washington state to aid in that money laundering scheme.
“Significantly further evidence found in the search of the Nemes’ residence on Deer Ridge Lane in Yelm, on March 18, 2014, reinforces the conclusion that there are millions of dollars in unaccounted for assets, specifically at least $2.75 million in gold and silver coins that have not been located or accounted for, remain available to Diana Nemes,” Barbosa continued. “In addition, records found in the search of the residence establish conclusively the existence of at least three more recently incorporated out-of-state shell companies available for Diana Nemes to use to continue to hide assets and launder the proceeds of the illegal oil scheme were she to be released.”
FoxNews.com's Joshua Rhett Miller contributed to this report.