By Wealthy Max Ltd …..
The Wealthy Max Limited legal defense team from GeyerGorey LLP, represented by Robert Connolly, presented the arguments behind its motion to dismiss the civil forfeiture case brought by the US Attorney for the District of New Jersey. The hearing was held in the courtroom of Judge Juan R. Sanchez, United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Wealthy Max is seeking dismissal of the case with prejudice and the immediate release of US$2,388,091.18 that the company is owed by the US Treasury for coins redeemed by the US Mint under its Mutilated Coin Redemption Program. The original complaint was filed in March 2015 and claimed that Wealthy Max, and its Foshan, China-based affiliate that administers its quality assurance program, and several other recycling companies, had attempted to pass counterfeit US coins through the US Mint’s program.
During the hearing Wealthy Max’s lawyers provided a point-by-point refutation of the government’s charges and highlighted multiple inconsistencies in the original complaint. Connolly called for the dismissal of the case because “[t]he Amended Complaint is based on demonstrably false material allegations made with reckless disregard for the truth.”
Among the numerous errors and inconsistencies in the government’s complaint that Connolly highlighted was the claim that Wealthy Max had never submitted pennies for redemption, when the company had provided a complete record of its shipments of pennies. The claim that more half dollars have been redeemed by Chinese companies than were ever produced, when in fact there is no record and no way to determine, how many half dollars were redeemed. The statement that it is easy to counterfeit US clad coins (dimes, quarters and half dollars) when the US Mint itself stated that it would be technically very difficult and not cost effective to counterfeit these coins.
Connolly pointed out that there were no facts to support the government’s contention that each scrapped car sent to China would have to contain $900 in coins for the coins to be legitimate. In fact, the government completely misunderstood the coin recycling industry and made no account for the fact, as the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) noted that sourcing coins out of scrap metal has been around for decades and that it has become even more prevalent since the shredder and advanced metal processing technology was introduced.
Further, earlier this year the American Metal Market, a respected trade publication, reported on its investigation that found that the United States could be discarding up to $61.75 million in coins per year through incinerated waste.
“From the beginning of our participation in this case we have believed that the complaint brought by the US Attorney’s Office had a great many errors relating points of law, technical facts and the nature of our client’s business,” said Robert Connolly of GeyerGorey LLP. “During our year-long investigation into the matter, we are more convinced than ever that the government’s case is fundamentally flawed, and should be dismissed so that no further damage is done to a company that has proved itself to be a trustworthy supplier to the US Mint for over 10 years. Our investigative team at the FormerFedsGroup.com has conducted dozens of interviews and reviewed hundreds of documents, as well as conducting an audit of Wealthy Max coins held in storage in Hong Kong, and has found no evidence of counterfeiting, or the intent to defraud the US government.
“On the contrary, all of the industry insiders we have spoken to have confirmed that the presence of US coins in US scrap metal has been well known, and that Wealthy Max is just doing what several US companies have been doing for many years.”
During the hearing Judge Sanchez raised a number of questions regarding the nature of the coin redemption industry and the methods used to determine whether a mutilated coin was counterfeit or not. There was also a discussion of the significance that the US Mint inspected, accepted, melted, assayed, analyzed and used it to make new clad coins and wired Wealthy Max a check, which was seized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
A key element of the government’s case was a Customs and Border Protection laboratory analysis of a sample of coins taken from those seized from Chinese coin redemption companies. During the hearing it was pointed out the government seriously misconstrued the content of this report, to the point of misstating its conclusion. Contrary to the government’s contention, the lab report did not conclude the coins were counterfeit, only that there were trace amounts of elements not associated with newly minted coins. Further, the government failed to disclose these trace elements were found in coins provided by the US Mint as a benchmark for testing purposes.
“We are very pleased to have had this opportunity to present the facts regarding the government’s serious mischaracterization of Wealthy Max and its multiple errors in logic and fact. The inability of the government to address multiple issues regarding their amended complaint make us more confident than ever that justice will prevail and the case will be dismissed in the near future,” concluded Mr. Connolly.
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For related coverage on CoinWeek, check out the following links:
- Wealthy Max Ltd Files Motion to Dismiss Civil Forfeiture Case
- U.S. Mint Suspends Coin Exchange Program
- Wealthy Max Ltd Supports Treasury’s Decision to Suspend Coin Redemption
- Wealthy Max Opens Up to Redeem Name
- FormerFeds Group Issues Mutilated Coin Redemption Program White Paper
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