September 24, 2023

Don Mellein is a retired civil servant living in Los Angeles. To safeguard his financial security, Don invested in precious metals, including gold coins. And to keep these savings safe, he rented a safe deposit box at US Private Vaults, a business in Beverly Hills. Don certainly didn’t expect that his precious property would be seized by the government.

In March 2021, the FBI raided US Private Vaults. In all, the FBI sought to forfeit over $85 million in cash and untold millions more in precious metals and other valuable property, including the contents of Don’s box.

Don hired and attorney and convinced the government to drop the forfeiture but the 110 gold coins in his box were not returned.

After months of fighting, the FBI somehow “found” 47 of Don’s coins, but it has never returned Don’s other 63 coins, which are worth over $100,000. Now, Don is teaming up with the Institute for Justice (IJ) to file a lawsuit against the government demanding that it either return the coins or compensate him for his loss.

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