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Man Convicted of Issuing Competing Currency

roman_mir (125474) writes | more than 3 years ago

Businesses 15

roman_mir (125474) writes "This FBI file is about a North Carolina man, who is convicted of minting silver coins, which compete with the currency issued by the US Mint.

The 67 year old is is facing 15 years of prison time and $250,000 fine as well as confiscation of $7,000,000 worth of silver and silver coins.

Following 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 by a jury in Statesville, North Carolina, 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 designed the Liberty Dollar currency in 1998 and the Liberty coins were marked with the dollar sign ($); the words dollar, USA, Liberty, Trust in God (instead of In God We Trust); and other features associated with legitimate U.S. coinage.

In coordination with the Department of Justice, on September 14, 2006, the United States Mint issued a press release and warning to American citizens that the Liberty Dollar was “not legal tender.”

Article I, section 8, clause 5 of the United States Constitution delegates to Congress the power to coin money and to regulate the value thereof.

“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,” she added. “We are determined to meet these threats through infiltration, disruption, and dismantling of organizations which seek to challenge the legitimacy of our democratic form of government.”

Of-course the value of the US dollar under the US government has been in steady decline ever since the creation of the Federal reserve bank. Here is some data on how much value US dollar lost only in the last 25 years.

US Mint does not like competition, so it would be interesting to see its take on JP Morgan announcing that they are accepting physical gold as collateral with its counterparties."

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also known as... (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 3 years ago | (#35557556)

So, man convicted of making counterfeit money?

Worse. (1)

boorack (1345877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583702)

He was convicted of "conspiring against United States". It scares a hell out of me, even though I'm not US resident. "Conspiring against XYZ" was common in old soviet system countries and many other regimes. Government beurocrats can label anything they want as "conspiring against United States". Potentially for any critique of government/corporate corruption a person can be labeled as this crap.

Why not just compare it to Nazi Germany? (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588304)

You know... to get the Godwin out of the way.

"Conspiring against XYZ" was common in old soviet system countries and many other regimes. Government beurocrats can label anything they want as "conspiring against United States". Potentially for any critique of government/corporate corruption a person can be labeled as this crap.

You are using conspiracy as if it is some magical, dark and sinister label that supposed "enemies of the state" get marked with in order to "get rid of them".
Like "terrorist", "communist" or "sex offender".

It's not! It simply means that more than one person got together and planed to break a law. [wikipedia.org]

And just like with any other crime - it has to be proven in court that they actually did plan to commit the crime.
Which was no problem here - he was after all sitting on a mountain of evidence that he planned and committed violations of dozens of laws.
And he was clearly trying to mimic the actual [dictocracy.com] currency [dictocracy.com] - an act that ANY country in the world will dump you in prison for.

Von NotHaus designed the Liberty Dollar currency in 1998 and the Liberty coins were marked with the dollar sign ($); the words dollar, USA, Liberty, Trust in God (instead of In God We Trust); and other features associated with legitimate U.S. coinage. Since 1998, NORFED has been issuing, disseminating, and placing into circulation the Liberty Dollar in all its forms throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. NORFED’s purpose was to mix Liberty Dollars into the current money of the United States. NORFED intended for the Liberty Dollar to be used as current money in order to limit reliance on, and to compete with, United States currency.

Re:Why not just compare it to Nazi Germany? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588622)

I won't copy / paste my comment here, but here is the link [slashdot.org] , it has links to the images of the coins in question.

There is no way they can be confused for official US coins.

The guy went out of his way to make sure these coins are not confused with official US coins.

As to 'dollar', etc. This is not a word that USA owns. There are MANY dollar coins around the world, that are not US dollars, I hope you knew that.

As to the word US on them - excuse me. The guy is from US. What should he put on it? The Moon?

Liberty Dollar pics? My post has them too... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 2 years ago | (#35589800)

Look it up. It is right above yours. Mine also has both sides of the coin.

And here is an image of REAL Peace Dollar with Liberty written all over it:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_Dollar [wikipedia.org]

And there are DOZENS of actual US dollars already out there with highly similar design [google.com] to his. [atlcoin.com]
If he was so altruistic and all that - why didn't he put a hot dog and a can of beer on his and call them "Do-Lars"?
After all... they would still be "backed by actual value of the metal" if it didn't say USA or God on them.

There is no way they can be confused for official US coins.

The guy went out of his way to make sure these coins are not confused with official US coins.

They can't be what now? He did a what now?
You mean when he put "dollar sign ($); the words dollar, USA, Liberty, Trust in God (instead of In God We Trust); and other features associated with legitimate U.S. coinage" on his coins?

And pleaaaase... Nobody is talking about owning the word "dollar" but of a convicted fraudster making items that are supposed to LOOK LIKE and REPLACE actual US currency.

Re:Liberty Dollar pics? My post has them too... (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#35590154)

So again, is this a copyright problem for you? Why can't a guy mint coins that look SIMILAR to some other coins from near 100 years ago? Those coins from 100 years ago were also silver, and they had $1 face value. That was real money, unlike what the counterfeit US federal reserve notes are today.

As to 'replacing US currency' - good for him. Somebody should be doing it anyway.

BitCoin? (1)

indeterminator (1829904) | more than 3 years ago | (#35558282)

I wonder whether BitCoin can be interpreted as an "attempt to undermine the legitimate currency".

Re:BitCoin? (1)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 3 years ago | (#35566080)

What about other virtual currency? Such as that used by Facebook, EVE on-line, or other virtual worlds, some of which have exchange rates back to real currency.

Re:BitCoin? (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583226)

I think the problem was the fact that his currency resembles US currency. If he would have made it clear it's not a US dollar it might have had a chance to go unpunished.

Re:BitCoin? (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583302)

Are you saying this is a copyright violation of some sort?

Because that's not what the AG is implying. The AG is saying that this is TERRORISM.

Re:BitCoin? (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583876)

When did I say anything about copyright? I think it's correctly regarded as a very serious act. It's basically counterfeiting money (even if it does have real value because of the silver).

Re:BitCoin? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#35585334)

But it's not counterfeiting, the coins in question are not minted by US Mint, so Liberty Dollars do not pretend to be created by US Mint or Fed, they are offered as a real dollar (because many people regard US dollar is counterfeit by design. It's a pyramid, and if you look at the drop of value of US dollar since 1913, you'll see it's over 98%).

So this is not counterfeiting, it looks like a coin, it's silver, it has '$' on it, so do many other currencies from around the world.

When you draw a picture of a paper bill, you try to make it as close to the original as possible in order to pass it as 'real' money, but this one has value in it - silver, and it sells above the spot price.

People who buy them, they buy them knowing those are not legal tender. They pay too much over spot price, I wouldn't do that, but they are not complaining - they bought some silver coin.

So what's the crime? Is it calling the coin a 'dollar'? Then are Canadians and Zimbabwe governments counterfeiting US dollars?

Is it about the fact it says "US" on it? Well, these are coins made to compete with official Federal reserve notes in USA, they are made in USA by a US citizen. What should he put on it? Mars?

Is it the fact that he sold the coins to people at higher than spot price? Where are the protests of those people? Why are they buying? The weight of silver is on the coin.

Is it then copyright - some image on the coin that is taken out of the official coins? That's NOT what he is on trial for.

So is it really the fact he is actually producing a real competitive currency, that people are more likely to use to accept for goods and services and then they would refuse accepting the 'legal tender'?

Well yes. That's that the US Attorney in the case said: this is a case of a person, who is a 'terrorist', who wants to undermine official US currency.

Well, he wouldn't be able to undermine it if it had actual value, which it does not. He is producing a competing currency and the State hates that - they want to be the ones FORCING people to accept their 'legal tender' as real money, even though in many people's opinions those are fake money - counterfeit money by design.

Re:BitCoin? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588660)

Link to my comment with links to images of Liberty Dollars. [slashdot.org]

They do not look like US dollars. They cannot be confused for US dollar.

If you confuse this coin for US dollar and take it for the face value, you just made money.

Fed (0)

The Aethereal (1160051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35558356)

If "attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism", then our own government is the most guilty.

Re:Fed (0)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35558666)

From "Soviet Psychiatry" and "thoughtcrime" to "anti-government activities"
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