A federal judge, Marjorie Rendell, has ruled against the US government in the case Langbord et al v. U.S. Department of the Treasury et al. The government is now required to return rare gold coins that could be worth $80M. The Langbords submitted 10 gold coins to the Secret Service in 2003 to have them authenticated, which they did and then refused to return the coins.
Because of the law instituted in 1933, owning gold was illegal and citizens were required to turn in their gold. The gold coins in question were minted in 1933 at the Philadelphia mint, however, those coins were never actually released to the public because of the new law. It is the government’s assertion that the gold coins in the Langbord family’s possession were stolen.
If the coins were stolen, how did the judge rule for the government to give them back? Because of a technicality.
The government never completed the forfeiture procedure of those coins. It would seem that since the coins were considered stolen in 1933, the government didn’t have to follow the law. A federal judge decided otherwise:
“The government knew that it was obligated to bring a judicial civil forfeiture proceeding or to return the property, but refused,” Circuit Judge Rendell wrote. “Having failed to do so, it must return the Double Eagles to the Langbords.”
At this time, the Langbord family hasn’t commented on the case or their intentions on selling or keeping the gold coins. If sold, those coins could be worth $8 million each. This is based on the 1933 P double eagle gold coin, once owned by the king of Egypt, sold in 2002 for $7.6 million.
It is refreshing to see a family stick to their rights and pursue them to the end. Congrats to the Langbord family!
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