Court again considers fate of seized gold coins worth $80M

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A federal appeals court is again considering the fate of 10 rare gold coins possibly worth $80 million or more that the government says were illegally taken from a Philadelphia mint and wound up in a jeweler's hands.

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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