Rare Gold Coins at Center of Philadelphia Court Case
A Philadelphia family and the federal government are facing off in federal court over 10 Double Eagle gold coins from 1933, according to published reports. Joan Langbord and her two sons contend they found the coins in 2003 while the government charges Langbord's father acquired the gold coins illegally, according to the Wall Street Journal. Israel Switt died in 1990 and when the coins he left in a bank deposit box were authenticated by the U.S. Mint by daughter Langbord and his grandsons, the U.S. Treasury seized the coins, Yahoo reports. The court case opened last week. "This is a crime the government has been waiting to put to rest for 70 years," Jacqueline Romero, assistant U.S. attorney, said last week during opening arguments. The Philadelphia Mint struck almost 450,000 of the coins but never released them because President Franklin Roosevelt prohibited gold's release from the mint as part of efforts to preserve banks as gold withdrawals were occurring very frequently. Additional Double Eagle gold coins have come up. The government did have intentions of prosecuting Switt, who was a jeweler, but the statute of limitations expired. Having begun on Friday, the court case is expected run as long as three weeks.
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