Israel Switt's Double Eagles returned to Family

Court Orders U.S. Mint to Return Famed Coins to Family - Government confiscated Double Eagle gold coins from Langbord family in 2004


A federal appeals court ruled that the U.S. Mint must return 10 rare gold coins to the heirs of a Philadelphia coin dealer who obtained them decades ago under mysterious circumstances. By a 2-to-1 vote, a panel of the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia on Friday ruled that the coins, famed Depression-era $20 gold pieces known as “Double Eagles,” were improperly confiscated by the government in 2004, and must be returned to Joan Langbord and her two sons. In 2003, Ms. Langbord found the coins in a safe-deposit box originally owned by her deceased father, Israel Switt. According to the court, “at the insistence of the Mint and against the wisdom of the Secret Service and multiple other agencies, the Government opted to ignore” a federal law governing seized property. “Now, the Langbords are entitled to the return of the Double Eagles.” A spokeswoman for the U.S. Justice Department in Philadelphia, which handled the case for the government, said the office was weighing its options. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Treasury Department, which operates the U.S. Mint, declined to comment. “Today’s decision upholds the rule of law and makes clear that the government will be held accountable when it violates the rights of its citizens and the clear mandate of Congress,” said Barry Berke, an attorney for the Langbords.
Comment: Image captured from 2012 article that has the background. More from 2011 Coinweek article. Wiki on the famed Double Eagle

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