DETROIT (AP) – A judge has ruled in favor of the government in a dispute over ownership of two antique lighthouse lenses worth at least $600,000.
The decision means Steve Gronow of Howell, Michigan, must surrender the lenses. He calls it a “huge disappointment.”
The government sued Gronow, saying he had no right to lenses from the Spring Point Ledge lighthouse in Maine and the Belle Isle lighthouse in Detroit.
The Coast Guard says it’s still the owner of the lenses. The Maine lighthouse was automated around 1960, and the Detroit lighthouse was replaced in 1930. Gronow bought one lens from an eBay seller and the other from the Henry County Historical Society in Indiana.
Federal Judge Mark Goldsmith said Monday that the government never gave up ownership, even if the lenses changed hands over the years.