(WHTM) — We first brought you the story of Finders Keepers, the lost Civil War gold, and the FBI last year.
It started when Finders Keepers, a treasure-hunting company, discovered a location on state forest land in Elks County where their metal detectors indicated a mass of metal with the density of gold. They suspected they’d found the legendary lost ingot treasure, a shipment of gold bullion worth millions of dollars, that supposedly went missing while being transported from West Virginia to Philadelphia in 1863.
The gold being Federal property, in 2018 they informed the FBI of the location, hoping to get a finders fee. Federal officials excavated the area while keeping Finders Keepers at arm’s length. Warren Getler, journalist and author of Rebel Gold: One Man’s Quest to Crack the Code Behind the Secret Treasury of the Confederacy, was there that day.
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“We were literally barred from the site, kept in our cars, and shown an empty hole afterward.”
The FBI said no gold was found. Kem Parada, one of the owners of Finders Keepers, told us last year he’s having trouble accepting the bureau’s word on the matter.
“Everything pinpointed gold at the exact same location. it’s flabbergasting that they say they didn’t find anything.”
Finder Keepers filed a Freedom of Information Act request. Now, three and a half years later, they are filing a lawsuit against the Department of Justice, claiming they’re dragging their feet about fulfilling the request.
The lawsuit states “Defendant Department of Justice wrongfully withheld agency records requested by Plaintiff by failing to comply with the statutory time limit for making a determination on plaintiff’s request, and by withholding from disclosure records responsive to Plaintiff’s request.”
Finders Keepers is asking the court to order the Department of Justice and FBI to “immediately and fully process Plaintiff’s May 8, 2018 FOIA request to the FBI and disclose all non-exempt documents immediately and at no cost to Plaintiff.”
The Department of Justice has thirty days to respond to the lawsuit.
To read the complete lawsuit, click here.