March 20, 2011

Liberty Dollar Dies

I've several friends who bought these as silver or gold certificates, some just as collectors items. The bottom line, if you want hard currency you had best only use government approved hard currency.

Evansville Courier & Press:

The former head of an Evansville-based company that tried to introduce a currency that competed with the U.S. dollar has been found guilty of federal charges in North Carolina.

Bernard von NotHaus, 67, was convicted Friday by a federal jury of making, possessing and selling his own coins, said Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

After an eight-day trial and less than two hours of deliberation, von NotHaus, the founder and "monetary architect" of a currency known as the Liberty Dollar, was found guilty of making coins resembling and similar to United States coins; of issuing, passing, selling and possessing Liberty Dollar coins; of issuing and passing Liberty Dollar coins intended for use as current money; and of conspiracy against the United States.

Von NotHaus, who remains free on bond, faces a sentence of up to 15 years' imprisonment and a fine of not more than $250,000 on the count related to distributing the coins for use as money and a sentence of five years and fines of $250,000 on counts related to making the coins and the conspiracy charge.

The guilty verdict concluded an investigation that began in 2005 and involved the minting of Liberty Dollar coins with a current value of about $7 million.

In November 2007 federal investigators raided Liberty Dollar's headquarters at 225 N. Stockwell Road, seizing documents and precious metals.

Von NotHaus developed the liberty dollar in 1998 as an "inflation-proof" alternative currency to the U.S. dollar, which he claimed has devalued since the Federal Reserve was established in 1913.

Its interesting, banks in the US all used to issue their own currency. Anyway he seemed to have a pretty good argument. No one I knew thought it was in any way backed by the Fed.

It was simply a note saying I own a dollars worth of gold. The value of a dollar in gold was set aside on the purchase date depending on market value. Then your Liberty dollar rose and fell against the federal reserve note based on the price of gold. I didn't think it would fly, but it was a neat idea. I mean where can you buy $2 or $10 in gold or silver and not get ripped in the process? Please tell me.

But remember bartering is unlawful. Mainly because its very hard to tax.

More here at the FBI's website.

Attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism,” U.S. Attorney Tompkins said in announcing the verdict. “While these forms of anti-government activities do not involve violence, they are every bit as insidious and represent a clear and present danger to the economic stability of this country,
Terrorism? Really? You've got to be kidding me. Unlawful, yeah it appears so. I'd appeal and probably lose. But to call him a terrorist? And by extension all the people who bought them? I mean my friend who bought these is so "goody two shoes" its almost hilarious. Terrorist....

I think this shows a real demand that the Fed is not meeting. People would like a way to buy gold and silver in very small amounts cheaply. If this way is unlawful the Treasury needs to step in and offer an alternative. Or guidelines that private folks could follow and not you know end up in jail. Its not like there isn't demand.

Just glad I didn't buy any because the government want to seize all the hard currency that backs these. Most likely leaving those who bought them with a collectors item.

By Howie at 08:20 AM | Comments |