Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Judge: Family’s $80 Million Gold Coin Collection Belongs to Uncle Sam
theblaze.com ^ | September 8, 2012 | Erica Ritz

Posted on 09/08/2012 11:35:22 PM PDT by grundle

A judge has ruled that ten rare gold coins worth roughly $80 million belong to the U.S. government, not the family that possessed them, according to ABC News.

In 2003 Joan Langbord and two other family members opened a safety deposit box that belonged to Langbord’s father, Philadelphia coin dealer Israel Switt, and found the valuable collection. When they asked the Philadelphia Mint to authenticate the find, the coins were apparently seized without compensation and taken to Fort Knox.

The 1933 Saint-Gaudens double eagle is “one of the most sought-after rarities in history,” according to Courthouse News. Originally valued at $20 each, one owned by King Farouk of Egypt reportedly sold for as much as $7.5 million at a Sotheby’s auction in 2002.

The Langbords unsuccessfully sued the government in 2011, alleging that the coins are rightfully theirs, and now they have lost the appeal.

Jacqueline Romero, assistant U.S. attorney in Philadelphia, explained that the coins legally belonged to the government after Franklin Delano Roosevelt ordered citizens to exchange their gold for cash in an effort to keep the banks afloat during the Great Depression.

“Those coins were all in a vault and were supposed to be melted,” she asserted.

The family maintains that in another seizure of the valuable coin, the government split the proceeds with the original owner after it sold for $7.59 million in 2002, and that the coins escaped the Mint legitimately through a “window of opportunity” between March 15 and April 5, 1933, the Huffington Post relates.

However, U.S. District Judge Legrome Davis Jr. wrote in his decision: “The Mint meticulously tracked the ‘33 Double Eagles, and the records show that no such transaction occurred…What’s more, this absence of a paper trail speaks to criminal intent. If whoever took or exchanged the coins thought he was doing no wrong, we would expect to see some sort of documentation reflecting the transaction, especially considering how carefully and methodically the Mint accounted for the ‘33 Double Eagles.”

“Nobody witnessed the disappearance of the 10 coins, but the jury could – and did – properly infer criminal intent,” Davis added.

Barry Berke, the family’s attorney, concluded for ABCNews.com: “This is a case that raises many novel legal questions, including the limits on the government’s power to confiscate property.”


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: 33doubleeagles; coin; coins; doubleeagles; fdr; gold; goldbugs; hawaiimansion35mill; legromedavis
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-97 next last

1 posted on 09/08/2012 11:35:28 PM PDT by grundle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: grundle

Theft by State


2 posted on 09/08/2012 11:39:53 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grundle

Using this same thinking wouldn’t every pre-1933 gold coin be FedGov’s property (because they were supposed to be turned in?).

Of course lots of them were in foreign hands at that time, and if you lived in France FDR’s little dictatorial decrees were not your law, so that coin was still legal.

I must be missing something. I don’t get it.


3 posted on 09/08/2012 11:40:41 PM PDT by Jack Black ( Whatever is left of American patriotism is now identical with counter-revolution.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grundle
What was the line from the '12 Dem convention?

"The only thing we all belong to is the government"

Yeah, that's it.

4 posted on 09/08/2012 11:41:48 PM PDT by norton
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grundle

Isn’t there a ‘statue of limitations’?


5 posted on 09/08/2012 11:42:29 PM PDT by chopperman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jack Black

They are reinforcing FDR’s order. Since there was no paper work trail they confiscated them. Not cool. Blame FDR.


6 posted on 09/08/2012 11:43:13 PM PDT by TheRhinelander
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: grundle
Franklin Delano Roosevelt ordered citizens to exchange their gold for cash in an effort to keep the banks afloat during the Great Depression

The Fascist on the Dime.

7 posted on 09/08/2012 11:43:26 PM PDT by cynwoody
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: norton

“We will take things away from you for the common good” - Hillary (2008?)


8 posted on 09/08/2012 11:45:16 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: grundle

Absolutely sickening.


9 posted on 09/08/2012 11:47:13 PM PDT by RC one
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: chopperman; Larry Lucido; Gamecock

~~~Isn’t there a ‘statue of limitations’?~~~

I believe there well may be

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq8gfaFqFpI


10 posted on 09/08/2012 11:51:39 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: grundle

These people took $80M worth of their coins to the government for authentication? Rather than just a few, to see how it went??
Financial Darwinism.


11 posted on 09/08/2012 11:53:56 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grundle

Clint Eastwood : “ WE own this country, the politicians work for us “ .


12 posted on 09/08/2012 11:56:04 PM PDT by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grundle

We know who the thief was and it wasn’t their relative.


13 posted on 09/08/2012 11:59:27 PM PDT by skr (May God confound the enemy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jack Black
The article is incorrect. Pre 1933 gold coins could be saved if they had collector or numismatic value (this was basically to keep coin collectors happy) but they had no monetary value, nor could they be exchanged for paper or silver after the deadline.

The 1933 Double Eagle was never offically monetized and thus was not suppose to leave the mint. The King Farouk specimen was monetized in a ceremony where a new $20.00 was taken out of circulation and the coin added to keep the books balanced.

This also is not like the 1913 V Nickel or other examples where mint employees illegally made coins and smuggled them out of the mint.

14 posted on 09/09/2012 12:04:57 AM PDT by LukeL (Barack Obama: Jimmy Carter 2 Electric Boogaloo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Lancey Howard

Yes, I tend to agree with this. They should have known better. You keep those OUT of public knowledge and if you sell them you do it privately.


15 posted on 09/09/2012 12:06:12 AM PDT by TheRhinelander
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Lancey Howard

Taking the coins to the government was a foolish act.


16 posted on 09/09/2012 12:06:15 AM PDT by hoosierham (Freedom isn't free)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: grundle
Let's go back to the year Obama was elected....So if Obama government told me to trade in my gold, I had to do it???

Absolutely ridiculous.

So much for the wonderful FDR.

17 posted on 09/09/2012 12:06:51 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grundle

Man, that bites. On so many levels.


18 posted on 09/09/2012 12:07:30 AM PDT by DemforBush
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LukeL

FDR was a thief.


19 posted on 09/09/2012 12:08:03 AM PDT by hoosierham (Freedom isn't free)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: grundle

“, the coins were apparently seized without compensation and taken to Fort Knox.”

This will never happen, but if I ever have to go to court for theft, shoplifting or grand larceny, then I will just have to plead not guilty to the charges, and then explain to the judge that his terminology is wrong, and that it was not theft, It was a seizure.


20 posted on 09/09/2012 12:13:38 AM PDT by yank in the UK ( A liberal mocking Christianity. I asked "why don't you mock Islam?" he replied "Muslims are violent)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: hoosierham
"FDR was a thief."

I suppose I could say something snarky about restating the obvious, but "FDR was a thief." is the simple truth.

21 posted on 09/09/2012 12:15:29 AM PDT by jonascord (Any Democrat = Classic examples of the Downing Effect.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: hoosierham

That is not the point, these coins were not suppose to leave the mint. It would be like if the mint stopped production of the penny, yet one roll of 2013 pennies made it out to the general public. The only way that could happen is if someone smuggled them out of the mint. This was the case for the 1933 Double Eagle. Banks could not order the coin, and mint records show no coins left the mint.


22 posted on 09/09/2012 12:16:28 AM PDT by LukeL (Barack Obama: Jimmy Carter 2 Electric Boogaloo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: yank in the UK
... and then explain to the judge that his terminology is wrong, and that it was not theft, It was a seizure.

I believe that's "liberation", coming from our side.

23 posted on 09/09/2012 12:17:06 AM PDT by dr_lew
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: grundle

The mint DID NOT meticulously track first strikings and issues and they were often exchanged to friends and relatives early. As long as the books balanced currency and bullion wise it wasn’t an issue...


24 posted on 09/09/2012 12:31:07 AM PDT by Axenolith (Government blows, and that which governs least, blows least...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lancey Howard

Yea, there were only 10 of them, but you’d think they would AT LEAST had the mild stupidity to just send one in. You KNOW these morons vote for democrats, they’re the only people stupid enough to trust bureaucrats this much...


25 posted on 09/09/2012 12:34:02 AM PDT by Axenolith (Government blows, and that which governs least, blows least...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: norton

The only thing Chavez took was American dollars


26 posted on 09/09/2012 12:35:06 AM PDT by tsowellfan (Voting for Obama/Biden is like purposely swallowing two tapeworms)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: grundle

What worthless jurors too, those people suck just as bad as the government...


27 posted on 09/09/2012 12:35:54 AM PDT by Axenolith (Government blows, and that which governs least, blows least...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LukeL

Correct. These coins were stolen from the Mint. They were never issued to anyone. They are stolen property, and thus always belong to whoever they were stolen from. In this case, the government.

The statute of limitations would only apply to prosecuting the thief.

The property still belongs to it’s rightful owner. Just as stolen WW2 property still belongs to it’s owner, even though it was stolen so long ago.

If you find an old Ferrari in your grandfather’s barn, and it’s listed as stolen, it doesn’t belong to you simply because you have possession of it and you are not the person who stole it.

It belongs to the person it was stolen from, or the insurance company, if they paid the claim on it.


28 posted on 09/09/2012 12:38:04 AM PDT by ltc8k6
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: grundle

Selfish capitalist pigs! According to my math, with 80 million dollars, our present federal government could create as many as 16 temporary road-working jobs.


29 posted on 09/09/2012 12:45:42 AM PDT by golux
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LukeL

You didn’t have to “monetize” every years freakin’ issue. Also, the siezure (overall) was unconstitutional as all get out, but since about 1925 pretty much every politician in the US has had banker ‘nads slapping against their chins...

Additionally, those coins are worth exactly their gold content value because if they can’t be marketed numismatically, they can’t have numismatic value.


30 posted on 09/09/2012 12:45:58 AM PDT by Axenolith (Government blows, and that which governs least, blows least...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: grundle

Their first mistake was getting the government involved with the coins. It’d be like inviting the DEA over to your house to grade the quality of your pot stash.


31 posted on 09/09/2012 12:47:59 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grundle

The FDR govt. should NEVER have been allowed to confiscate these gold coins....NEVER!


32 posted on 09/09/2012 12:52:10 AM PDT by Ann Archy ( ABORTION...the HUMAN Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ltc8k6

You’re correct, but the government should’ve had the good graces to at least give these a people a finder’s fee for finding stolen property and turning it in. Had they done that there would have been no lawsuit.


33 posted on 09/09/2012 12:52:21 AM PDT by Truthsearcher
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: ltc8k6

Really? If that is so, and the mint, as the boviating bench warmer cited, kept such meticulous records, why did they not list a loss of 10 ounces, or 10 coins?

Because the books balanced, someone either traded in $20 certs, or pre 1933 $20 coins for those... Ergo, they weren’t “stolen”...


34 posted on 09/09/2012 12:52:31 AM PDT by Axenolith (Government blows, and that which governs least, blows least...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: yank in the UK

The family can’t get them back anyway, betcha George Soros has first dibsies on all of them...


35 posted on 09/09/2012 1:03:30 AM PDT by Shady (The Tea Party is the Party of the American People, Working and creating wealth in SPITE of OBAMA!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Axenolith
You KNOW these morons vote for democrats, they’re the only people stupid enough to trust bureaucrats this much...

Yep.
In which case, I'm glad the government they want, and vote for, ripped them off so brazenly.

36 posted on 09/09/2012 1:07:44 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: grundle

This judge should be tarred and feathered.

As should have Franklin Delano Roosevelt been tarred and feathered!


37 posted on 09/09/2012 1:16:28 AM PDT by Emperor Palpatine (I need a good stiff drink. How 'bout you?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Axenolith

Tar and feather them, too. All 12 of ‘em.

Along with the judge.


38 posted on 09/09/2012 1:21:07 AM PDT by Emperor Palpatine (I need a good stiff drink. How 'bout you?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Ann Archy

The FDR government should have been overthrown in a coup d’etat in 1935.


39 posted on 09/09/2012 1:23:21 AM PDT by Emperor Palpatine (I need a good stiff drink. How 'bout you?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Emperor Palpatine

I prefer the John Wayne method, a good rope and a fine hangin’.


40 posted on 09/09/2012 1:26:45 AM PDT by exnavy (The time is upon us, fish or cut bait, may God guide your heart.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: Axenolith
This has nothing to do with FDRs Executive Order. These coins were not suppose to be issued as currency. They are still the property of the US Mint. If Ford decides not to release any 2013 Ford Fusions and 60 years later a 2013 Fusion comes up for sale one would assume that it was stollen and still belongs to the Ford Motor Comapny, regardless of how the person aquired it. The same hold true for these coins. They were stollen from vaults of the Philadelphia Mint and must be returned to the Mint.

Ask any coin collector or dealer and they will tell you the same thing. Your opinions of the government have no bearing on this.

41 posted on 09/09/2012 1:40:06 AM PDT by LukeL (Barack Obama: Jimmy Carter 2 Electric Boogaloo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Axenolith

As for monetizing every year’s issue, yes this must be done and is done when the mint director orders production of new coinage and they are offically entered into the books. Go into any US redbook and you will see the exact number of coins that were made every year. The 1933 Double Eagle shows 445,500 but they were not released for circulation. I really don’t know how to explain this any different.

As for the numismatic value, these coins can be marketed for collectors, but it would be illegal and that is why it is hard to price them. Same thing for stollen art and artifacts like Papal Holy Releics, they have no real value because they are not suppose to be sold. If that is true for the coins, even the gold content does not matter as it is stollen property.


42 posted on 09/09/2012 1:48:50 AM PDT by LukeL (Barack Obama: Jimmy Carter 2 Electric Boogaloo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: cynwoody; All

Sends a chill down your spine that Obama said at the he’ll need to engage in “persistent experimentation like FDR” to solve the economic crisis, doesn’t it?


43 posted on 09/09/2012 1:55:29 AM PDT by newzjunkey (Election night is 59 days away.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: newzjunkey

Soros has a huge position in gold.

Completely off topic, but what you just reminded me of just sent chills down my spine.


44 posted on 09/09/2012 2:47:28 AM PDT by sf4dubya (I rebelled against my parents by becoming a conservative. REJECT THEN STOP SOCIALISM THIS NOV!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: grundle

A cautionary tale here... those who make similar finds should authenticate them through a numismatic expert and NOT a government bureaucrat. This is a damned outrage!


45 posted on 09/09/2012 3:02:19 AM PDT by ScottinVA (If Obama is reelected, America will deserve every mockery that follows.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grundle

Another reason among many to hate that fascist FDR. POS.


46 posted on 09/09/2012 3:10:58 AM PDT by ScottinVA (If Obama is reelected, America will deserve every mockery that follows.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LukeL

Who’s gold was used to mint the coins?


47 posted on 09/09/2012 3:16:22 AM PDT by ResponseAbility (The beauty of liberalism is that the stupid can feel smart, the lazy can feel entitled, and the immo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Emperor Palpatine

“The FDR government should`ve been overthrown in a coup d`etat in 1935.”

Guiseppe Zangara came within a hair`s breadth of changing history when he attempted to take out FDR in Chicago in February 1933. When bumped by an onlooker, he inadvertantly capped Chicago mayor Anton Cermak instead.

One can only imagine how different things could`ve been.


48 posted on 09/09/2012 3:24:48 AM PDT by ScottinVA (If Obama is reelected, America will deserve every mockery that follows.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: grundle
Skimming through the article, there is something wrong with the daughter's story. I don't know about other states, but in PA you cannot enter a safe deposit box (even one jointly held) when one of the owners is deceased. The state must send a representative to the bank to itemize the contents (for state inheritance tax purposes). These coins were not listed in the assets of either parent at the time of their death.

There was a reason these coins were "under the radar" and since there is no paper trail it sure sounds as if these coins were stolen property (from the US Mint).

49 posted on 09/09/2012 3:48:44 AM PDT by Abby4116
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: hoosierham

Well well well, if there was not a sign of inflation, here is one for you.

Soon the government will acknowledge the worthlessness of paper money and require like in Rome of old or the Middle Ages to be paid in gold for taxes.

Meanwhile Bernanke insists gold is not money...

Next is the guns, I suppose. What was that? OH, that gun buy back program, yeaaaaah!?....


50 posted on 09/09/2012 4:00:59 AM PDT by JudgemAll (Democrats Fed. job-security Whorocracy & hate:hypocrites must be gay like us or be tested/crucified)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-97 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson