Monday, May 6, 2013

Federal Forfeiture Complaint Filed in ACCG Baltimore Test Case

The United States Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland has filed a complaint to seize and forfeit ancient Chinese and Cypriot Coins. The Ancient Coin Collector's Guild (ACCG) attempted to import the coins into Baltimore on April 16, 2009 in defiance of import regulations restricting the protected cultural objects under the Convention on Cultural Property Repatriation Act (CPIA).

The ACCG flew the coins in from London on British Airways and told U.S. Customs and Border (CBP) that they were from China and Cyprus, dated between 400 B.C. and 220 A.D., had no known provenance, and had no known find spots. CBP seized the coins, and the ACCG filed a lawsuit soon thereafter, before federal officials brought a formal forfeiture action.

The ACCG's suit failed in the federal district court, the court of appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Following the supreme court's March 25, 2013 rejection to hear the case, prosecutors filed a formal forfeiture complaint in the federal district court on April 22.  The forfeiture action brings a new opportunity for the ACCG to relitigate the matter.

This post is researched, written, and published on the blog Cultural Heritage Lawyer Rick St. Hilaire at Text copyrighted 2010-2013 by Ricardo A. St. Hilaire, Attorney & Counselor at Law, PLLC. Any unauthorized reproduction or retransmission of this post is prohibited. CONTACT INFORMATION: