Skip to comments.NC Man Convicted Of Making Counterfeit Coins
Posted on 03/19/2011 12:34:11 PM PDT by BenLurkin
STATESVILLE, NC -- A man from North Carolina was convicted of minting his own currency.
The U.S. Attorney's Office announced Friday afternoon that 67-year old Bernard von NotHaus was convicted of making, possessing and selling his own coins. During the eight day trial, the U.S. Attorney's Office said the investigation into NotHaus' activities began in 2005 and involved minting of coins worth an estimated $7 million.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said the coins were made to resemble United States coins and that the Liberty Dollar coins were intended to be used as counterfeit money. NotHaus was the founder of a group called NORFED, also known as the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve and Internal Revenue Code.
It took jurors less than two hours to deliberate NotHaus' guilt and he faces a 15 years in prison when sentenced.
I don’t think anyone is going to confuse gold and silver coins with his phone number on them as government coins.
BTW, if the coins are real gold and silver how could they possibly be considered counterfeit?
The joke is on Bernard von NotHaus,
in the last few weeks the spread between government silver coinage and private label silver coinage has all but disappeared for the first time since the French tried to return to the gold standard in the years leading up to WWI.
Bernard von NotHaus was ahead of the curve and could have been printing decorative, commerative, or even blank rounds and come out as a leader in the world’s PM backed currency movement. Instead he’s looking at a lifetime of appeals, jail, and destitution.
Supposedly, Liberty Dollars are denominated by weight and backed by a commodity.
That doesn’t sound like any circulating U.S. currency so it’s hard to see that this is counterfeiting.
“Von NotHaus designed the Liberty Dollar currency in 1998 and the Liberty coins were marked with the ‘$,’ the words ‘dollar,’ ‘USA,’ ‘Liberty,’ ‘Trust in God’ (instead of ‘In God We Trust’) and other features associated with legitimate U.S. coinage.
IMHO, he screwed up using the dollar sign ‘$’ and using the word ‘dollar’, the rest of the charges were easily contestable.
More detailed article:
I think they said “$20” right on them. That’s crossing the line.
I guess the FED doesn’t like competition.
It's not the fact that he was selling gold or silver coins that's problematic. What's problematic is that the coins do bear some similarity to actual US coins. If he would have stamped Snoopy or Bugs Bunny on the coins, he wouldn't have been convicted.
The government alleged and argued (amongst other things) that the coins looked too similar to actual currency. The jurors agreed.
Amazingly, the Feds have used this case to extend the definition of “domestic terrorist” to include a guy that mints 0.999 fine silver “rounds” and encourages others to use them in trade. The guy’s fraud was not related to the weight and purity of his minted rounds, but to the allegation that the rounds could be confused US coinage.
It is perhaps justified for a national government to protect its monopoly on seignorage by imprisoning and confiscating the wealth of private citizens that threaten its seignorage privilege. However, for the Feds to call this guy’s actions “domestic terrorism” is a real stretch, and strongly suggestive of just how scared the government is that its massive and multiple Ponzi schemes are about to collapse.
Jurors will agree to all kinds of stupid things.
That seems accurate, especially considering he was only found guilty on the counterfeiting charges, and not guilty on the other charges.
Amazingly, the Feds have used this case to extend the definition of domestic terrorist to include a guy that mints 0.999 fine silver rounds and encourages others to use them in trade. The guys fraud was not related to the weight and purity of his minted rounds, but to the allegation that the rounds could be confused with US coinage.
It is perhaps justified for a national government to protect its monopoly on seignorage by imprisoning and confiscating the wealth of private citizens that threaten its seignorage privilege. However, for the Feds to call this guys actions domestic terrorism is a real stretch, and strongly suggestive of just how scared the government is that its massive and multiple Ponzi schemes are about to collapse.
NotHaus was the founder of a group called NORFED...
Nice low profile.../s
I’d buy and take silver (.999 fine) blanks over any US coin.
What’s that company that sells all sorts of silver and gold coins that really look like US coins? How do they get away with it?
You know, I really am not familiar with the company your referring to. You might be referring to the "Franklin Mint". While I'm no numismatic authority, I believe that private company does enjoy license rights from the US government (and other governments) to issue commemorative US coins. In other words, they have legal permission.
I thought we were free to trade gold and silver amongst outrselves. Isn’t gold and silver “legal tender” by default?
Okay, yeah, it’s the Franklin Mint I was thinking of. Thanks.
I thought the definition of “dollar” was something like 132.7 grains of gold or whatever?
You can. In fact, you can even create your own "legal tender". Casinos all over the country do just that. There are many resort municipalities that have their own "currency" that is unique to those towns.
This guy ran into problems because he created a coin that looked too similar to an actual US coin. Like I said, it's not the coin itself that's the problem (or the fact that it's gold), it's its appearance that caused him legal grief.
"Isnt gold and silver legal tender by default?"
It can be, but it's not US legal tender.
The question you ask is a good one and I just don’t have the answer, there are PM bugs out there who have written treatises on the lack of a legal definition of the word “dollar” in the US Legal Code, however I’m not well versed enough in it to respond.
About 10 years ago someone on FR posted a link to this guy:
Jim Ewart, President, Principia Publishing, Inc.
He wrote a book on the subject that is well regarded.
“Money Ye shall have honest weights and measures”
So the Federal Reserve was jealous of the quality of his coins!!!
Are you serious? As a matter of fact, the dollar has had no connection, absolutely no connection, to any quantity of precious metal in any way since Nixon unilaterally terminated the Bretton Woods system in 1971. This ended any convertibility of the US dollar to gold. At that time only foreign central banks had the ability to convert their dollar holdings to gold because private ownership of gold by US citizens was made illegal in 1933.
The definition of the US dollar is whatever the Federal Reserve says it is. According to Ben Bernanke, who ought to know what he's talking about, "my definition of the dollar is what it can buy".
Helicopter Ben went on, "Consumers don't want to buy gold. They want to buy food and gasoline and clothes and other things in the consumer basket, and it is the buying power in terms of goods and services that is important."
That is the only practical definition of the dollar. It is a faith-based currency, merely a unit of account consisting of one hundred cents. There are only two reasons that anybody would accept a dollar in payment or hold a dollar for the future. First, they are legal tender for payment of taxes and contractural obligations denominated in dollars. Second, there is almost universal faith that somebody else will accept dollars in return for future goods and services.
A Google search will yield a number of other dubious definitions, but if you try to use them you'll end up like Bernard von NotHaus.
I am usually not too serious.
I'm pretty sure the French were on the gold standard in August 1914. Did you mean WWII?
Confusion indeed. His liberty dollars, since they are pinned to the price of silver or gold, are inflation proof. We can’t have that, it might remind or wake up the populace to the fact that their ‘money’ has been tokenized and is now a fiat currency backed by nothing, worth only what you can trade it for, and that my friends is shrinking by the day.
I was talking about 1890’s, when the Long Depression and deflation in France caused a collapse in confidence in the French Government and French business and the value of silver coinage and silver rounds were of equal value by weight.
The US Mint allows private mints like the Franklin Mint to produce silver coinage at a premium to spot (averaging about 10% to 11% over long term) , for years the coinage from these private mints was valued above rounds and below US Mint coinage. In the last month there has been a complete breakdown of the spreads, a US Silver Dollar and a one ounce Silver round of same purity are almost at the same spot price when bought in bulk. Private mints receiving almost no premium on the market compared to blank rounds.
It’s a disturbing break from longstanding trend lines that many silver bugs are proclaiming as the beginning of the end of several fiat currency systems, but they proclaim that pretty often about just about any event that suits their world view.
Attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism, U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins said.
Sweat, goldbugs is more like it.
By purchasing and hoarding gold, silver, other precious metals, and coins containing such metals, goldbugs are in demonstrating a lack of faith in faith-based Federal Reserve Notes. Many are also openly encouraging others to do so. This clearly undermines the legitimate currency of this country.
Applying Ms. Tompkins logic, they are all domestic terrorist. PATRIOT Act for you, suk'kahs. Heck, if Lieberman gets his way the goldbugs would even forfeit their citizenship and the President could have them assassinated.
Sound crazy? Yes, it does. But it also sounds crazy to equate striking 0.999 silver rounds with "domestic terrorism", and Federal officials have already done this.
The Bernake will broach no competition. I’m surprised that there are so many here that actually applaud the Police State’s claim of terrorism ..... pretty sad.
Well, lots of conservatives still think that the US government is correctly characterized as a constitutional republic and have faith in its institutions. They still believe what they learned in 9th grade civics class, think that the Constitution (as amended) is something other than a dead letter, and trust that Republicans, at least, represent their interests rather than those of the ruling elite. They are like sheep and the USG is their good shepherd.
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