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Motion to dismiss filed in California

A motion to dismiss a lawsuit against Steven L. Contursi and Donald H. Kagin was filed Aug. 26 with the United States District Court of the Central District of California by their attorney.

The lawsuit alleges that information supplied to the defendants by plaintiff and Michigan hobbyist William Swoger enhanced the value of a unique 1787 “EB” on breast Brasher doubloon jointly owned by the two parties.

“Defendants’ reasonable request to know what information Plaintiff was offering before purchasing it cannot create a legal obligation to pay for that information regardless of its value, and cannot form the basis for a fraud claim,” the motion concludes.

Swoger claims the information he supplied was worth $500,000 (and he received only a coin worth $35,000) because it enhanced the value of the doubloon by $5 million. He propounds the theory that the coin can be considered a federal issue rather than simply the creation of a private jeweler because it conforms to the specifications of the Coinage Act of 1792.

Six other Brasher doubloons with “EB” stamped on the eagle’s wing are of a different weight, and Swoger concludes, minted first before the 1792 law.

The motion to dismiss also notes that some of Swoger’s statements in an Aug. 18 Los Angeles Times news story about the lawsuit are inconsistent with claims made in the lawsuit filed with the court.

The court is scheduled to take up the matter Oct. 5.

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