US Coins

Federal judge dismisses CU ‘coin doctors’ suit

A federal judge has dismissed the lawsuit initiated by Collectors Universe against several individuals accused of conspiring to “doctor” coins, paving the way for the case to be refiled in California state courts.

District Court Judge S. James Otero filed civil minutes of a status conference on Dec. 13. In it, Judge Otero allowed defendants Al Rossman and Robert Lehman to join defendants Silvano DiGenova, Greg Krill and Rick Wesslink’s motion to dismiss counts one and two, claiming violations under the federal Lanham Act and RICO.

The court dismissed the federal claims with prejudice, but dismissed all state claims without prejudice, allowing CU the option of refiling the case in a California state court where state law would govern.

CU filed the initial lawsuit on May 13, 2010, and later filed several amended complaints, all centered on a group of coin dealers who allegedly worked together over a period of years to submit “doctored” coins to PCGS.

The ruling restricts the ability of CU to pursue count one, which claimed violation of the Lanham Act, which deals primarily with trademark law, and count two, which claims violation of RICO. CU asserted that the defendants’ activities constituted a pattern of racketeering activity. ¦

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