This CoinWeek article sums up the results of the 1933 Double Eagle case pretty well, and gets my vote for the cheesiest graphic: two ghostly '33 double eagles floating in front of (not behind) the bars of a jail cell.
Chris Fuccione, John and Nancy Wilson and others forwarded links to several other articles on the topic this week.
Ten rare $20 gold pieces that could have been worth millions to coin collectors will instead remain in Fort Knox and not be returned to the descendants of Philadelphia jeweler Israel Switt, a federal court jury decided Wednesday.
After five hours of deliberation following a seven-day trial, the two men and eight women declared that when the valuable Double Eagle coins ended up in the hands of the Philadelphia jeweler in the 1930s, they did not arrive legitimately.
Throughout the trial, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Romero contended that Switt and and unknown number of his friends must have stolen the 1933 Double Eagles from the Philadelphia Mint as they were never officially released to the public. No evidence of who or how this was done was presented, only a theory that this was the only explanation of why the gold coins were in Mr Switt's possession. The coins are currently in Fort Knox, Ky.
The family contended they were legally entitled to the coins because the government could not prove they were stolen. Indeed, there was no way to know how they got out of the Mint and eventually into the Switt family's safety deposit box, said the family.
But the government contended that circumstantial evidence proved this was not the case.
The government's position was that the Mint never legally issued any 1933 Double Eagles to the public, and that all 445,500 were accounted for in mint records. But since 1937, at least 21 have surfaced, and all can be traced back to Switt. who the Government theorized got them that year from a corrupt Mint official. The Langbord-Switt attorney, Barry H. Berke argued that the coins could have been legally obtained during a "window of opportunity" in March and April 1933, when the law governing possession of gold coins was in flux.
Joan Langbord, Switts daughter, and her two sons, Roy and David, declined to comment after the verdict but appeals are expected.
However, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Romero was more than willing to talk. "It sends a strong message" that the government will pursue crimes against the U.S. money supply, "no matter how many years pass." And on the Langbord position that the coins were legally obtained from the mint Romero said, "We did not think that was a credible story."
To read the complete article, see:
Langbord-Switt 1933 Double Eagles to Remain in Govt Hands
Wayne Homren, Editor
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