$80 Million Coin Inheritance Confiscated By Government - as part of the news series by GeoBeats.
Imagine your inheritance being confiscated by the government.
In 2003, family members of deceased coin dealer, Israel Switt, claim to have discovered a safety deposit box containing 10 rare gold coins worth an estimated $80 million.
When Joan Langbord, Switt’s daughter and her 2 sons, requested the Philadelphia Mint authentificate the 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle coins, they were seized by the US Treasury with no compensation.
A lengthy court battle ensued; with the government claiming they were stolen in the 1930’s and Mr. Switt was “somehow involved”. Court documents reveal a Mint cashier may have smuggled them out with several landing in Mr. Switt’s possession according to a 1940’s Secret Service investigation.
Over 455,000 of the coins were minted in 1933 but were never circulated. Two were sent to the Smithsonian, and the rest supposedly melted down. Complicating matters, in 2002 one was sold at auction for $7.6 million with the government’s agreement.
Last year, a jury declared that the coins belonged to the government. The Langbord’s appealed, and on August 29th, a federal judge upheld the ruling, that the coins would "remain the property of the United States" and "were not lawfully removed" from the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia.
The family plans to appeal yet again.
How do you think this situation should be addressed?