The key sentence in your link is:
""The coins in question were not lawfully removed from the United States Mint,” the judge rules."
The key words in this sentence are:
"....not lawfully REMOVED from...."
Supposedly, the coins were "gifted" to Grandpa Switt by a United States Mint cashier at a time in history when a Presidential order required the coins to be destroyed/melted down. The family's own story is that this is how the coins came into old man Switt's possession way back when. Consequently, the judge ruled that the coins were ILLEGALLY REMOVED FROM A U.S. MINT - and therefore were not the legal property of Grandpa Switt in the first place. In essence, the ruling was that the coins were STOLEN property - and must be returned to the rightful owner, which in this case is the U.S. government.
Too bad for the descendants, but if somebody discovered D.B Cooper's stash or money which could be traced back to bank robberies by John Dillinger, you'd have the same results.
Honestly, how could they KNOW truely if they were LAWFULLY removed?
The courts could say you didnt LAWFULLY own your home, and take it.
Or they could say you didnt LAWFULLY have kids and say they werent yours, its shaky ground, do we really want to tread there?
The circumstances surrounding the "gifting" make the difference. If they had a DATE and a SOURCE, all you have to do is determine whether the Presidential order was in effect at the time. The family did not contest the source or the date.
Sorry, but I don't see the government stealing anything here. What the judge ruled was that the mint CASHIER was a thief. I see nothing in the story you cite to dispute this.
Were their charges against the cashier? Was he convicted?
If not we have no proof he stole these!
After all the place we live in is called America supposedly here we are innocent UNTIL proven guilty beyond a REASONABLE doubt!
Wouldnt you agree?
The cashier is probably DEAD. The family agrees that the coins came from the cashier in the 1930s - MORE THAN 80 YEARS AGO. The cashier "provided" the coins to the old man during a time when there was a Presidential order which required their destruction. The family admits this (or at least your link does not say they contest this) - and a judge has ruled accordingly.
The family is not being charged with anything, so they are neither guilty nor innocent. But they ARE in receipt of what is essentially contraband that could only have come into the possession of the old man during a time when HE was not authorized to have it.
As I said, same rules if somebody comes into possession of D.B. Cooper's stash or money proven to be heisted by John Dillinger or Bonnie and Clyde. It's not "finder's keepers" with this stuff. The finders do not get to keep the contraband.
The Pennsylvania family is not being prosecuted for having possession of the coins. They're just being told they can't keep the fruits of somebody else's larceny - which is what it was. These coins came out of a mint at a time when they were all supposed to be going IN to a mint for melting down.
From your cited page: "Because the government ordered the destruction of their entire supply of coins decades earlier, the court found that Switt’s family was illegally in possession of the stash. Even though they may had been presented to the dealer by a Philadelphia Mint staffer, Judge Davis agrees with last year’s ruling that Mr. McCann broke the law."
Mr. MCCANN BROKE THE LAW. He was the cashier. He is probably dead now.
There is a Pennsylvania lottery. An easier way for the Langbords to make some quick money (because they won't be getting these coins back) is for them to buy a few lottery tickets. Maybe they'll get lucky like this Allenhurst woman:
I'm waiting on Hinesville mayor to get caught at something. His house was in foreclosure when he came into office and now he is now driving a "Porsche".
This Mayor just got busted...
Seb according to that logic,any coinage that any dealer has from periods where it was ordered destroyed should forfiet their coins and old bills right?
It is my understanding that it is ILLEGAL tor anyone to possess U.S. currency which has been ordered destroyed. I didn't see it stated that way in your cite, but I'm pretty sure that's how it works. I remember the concept from other cases over the years. I'll research it tomorrow and post a link.
...and now - the rest of the story:
*The coins in question are 1933 Saint-Gaudens type Gold Double Eagle.
*The U.S. Gold Double Eagle coin, Saint-Gaudens type, had been issued from 1907 until 1932. Although 445,500 Double Eagles had been minted with the 1933 date, NONE WERE RELEASED INTO CIRCULATION because of changes made to currency laws during the Great Depression.
*In an effort to end the run on the banks and stabilize the economy, President Franklin Roosevelt took America off the gold standard. Not only were no more gold coins to be issued for circulation, people had to turn in the ones they had.
*Consequently, ALL OF THE 1933 SAINT-GAUDENS GOLD DOUBLE-EAGLE COINS WERE ORDERED DESTROYED. None were authorized to be introduced into circulation - i.e., none were supposed to be removed from the Mint. Technically, those that got out of the Mint were STOLEN.
*There is a general consensus among scholars that a Mint cashier by the name of George McCann exchanged about 20 1933's doomed for destruction and replaced them with earlier dated Double Eagles. This way, the accounting books would balance and nobody would realize that anything was amiss.
*A Philadelphia area jeweler by the name of Israel Switt came into possession of at least 19 of the coins.
*The Switt Story and the above info can be found here:
IMHO - what we have here is an unauthorized taking of coins from the Mint at a time when they were ordered destroyed. A basic principle of our legal system is that people are not supposed to legally profit from nefarious activity - even if they were not themselves involved. Soooooooooo - Ms. Langbord was just the latest recipient of property stolen from the United States back in the 1930s.
The above cite includes a paragraph which discusses the Langbord-Switt case, which as of the posting had not yet been adjudicated. Your cite reports the latest judicial finding in the case.
....now this IS "government gone wild":
I'm not one to invoke 'Godwin's Law' to prove a point or agree with someone online BUT in the case of "sebekm" link this time it just seems right ;)
Yeah - I guess I could have just let it go, but having spent a lot of time on the platform I still can't get rid of the old adage:
If the student failed to learn, the instructor failed to teach.
Soooo - call it "Sebekm's Law": You can take an old instructor off the platform, but it's hard to get the platform off an old instructor.