A lawsuit is alleging that the FBI is knowingly hiding valuable collector’s coins that were taken in a raid and have not yet been returned to their owner. Initially, the agency said that it did not have any of the coins, although, through legal proceedings, 47 of them have been found to be in FBI custody. The 63 remaining coins are valued at $123,419, according to the suit.
The lawsuit was blunt in saying that the coins must be returned to the man who they were taken from, Donald Mellein. “That’s what happened to Plaintiff Donald Mellein. The government broke into Don’s safe deposit box at U.S. Private Vaults (USPV) in Beverly Hills, California, which he used to store part of his retirement savings, including cash, a gold bar, and 110 gold coins. Without any evidence that Don had done anything wrong, the government tried to administratively forfeit the gold bar and cash. The government eventually abandoned its unjustified forfeiture attempt and tried to return the property. But by that time, the gold coins in Don’s box had disappeared.”
The coins were taken after the FBI seized property from USPV, the location where Mellein kept his coins in a safety deposit box. The lawsuit then goes on to claim that this was no accident, that the FBI intentionally seized property in a profit-making venture.
It alleges, “But the FBI also had a separate plan concealed from the magistrate judge who approved the warrant- to administratively forfeit all boxes containing property worth at least $5,000 (the FBI’s minimum threshold for profitability), and to conduct investigatory searches of the boxes for evidence to support the forfeitures. These investigatory searches demanded significant time and effort–for instance, running all cash by drug-sniffing dogs and documenting agents’ notes and observations to use in later forfeiture proceedings.”
It is a heavy allegation and one that immediately turns heads to hear that the FBI may have been taking private property with a, act first ask questions later mentality.
The suit details the high values of the coins and offers a full inventory of the coins that were present in the safety deposit box, saying, “After the FBI abandoned its efforts to forfeit Don’s property, it returned his cash and gold bar. But it didn’t return his 110 gold coins. After he filed an earlier lawsuit, represented by different counsel, the government “found’ 47 of his coins. But it never returned the remaining 63 gold coins, which were worth $123,419.”
Attorney Joe Gay had the following to say about the reason for the suit, according to Zero Hedge. He said, “If normal people are held accountable for stealing or losing your property, then the government should be, too. Don, Jeni, and Michael did nothing wrong. The government never should have broken into their safe-deposit boxes, but once it did, it became responsible for keeping their property safe. If it doesn’t give it back, there must be a legal remedy.”
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