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A lawyer for jeweler Israel Switt's heirs told the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday that authorities erred by seizing the coins without filing a required civil forfeiture action.
A jury found the seizure legal because the coins hadn't been circulated and must therefore have been stolen, but a three-judge appellate court reversed that decision in April. Federal prosecutors then asked for Wednesday's hearing before the full appeals court.
They say returning the rare $20 Double Eagles to Joan Langbord and her two sons would reward the family of a thief.
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