California man gives $2 million aluminum penny back to US Mint

By REUTERS
March 18, 2016 03:27

A San Diego man who inherited from his father a 1974 aluminum penny valued at $2 million has surrendered it to the US Mint to settle a lawsuit over ownership of the rare coin, a federal prosecutor said on Thursday.

Randall Lawrence, the son of a former Mint official, and Michael McConnell, the owner of a San Diego-area coin shop, sued the federal government in 2014 after it demanded the return of the penny.

Lawrence and McConnell had planned to display the coin at shows across the country and then sell it through an auction house, which estimated it would bring up to $2 million.

The pair turned it over to the Mint and relinquished all claims to ownership as part of a settlement, Laura Duffy, US attorney for the Southern District of California, said in a statement.

The settlement "vindicates the government's position that items made at US Mint facilities but not lawfully issued ... remain government property and are not souvenirs that government employees can merely remove and pass down to their heirs," Duffy said. She did not disclose further terms of the settlement.






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