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Liberty Dollar – Federal Indictment

TM-NEWS.gifBernard vn Nothaus Under Federal Indictment

arrest dollars.jpgIn November 2007 I wrote a posting about the government confiscation of approximately two tons of copper, silver and gold Liberty Dollar coins from Berbard von Nothaus’s facilities in Evansville, Indiana. At the time I wondered how long it would take for charges to follow and today I got my answer. The Department of Justice under acting United States Attorney Edward R. Ryan brought a Federal Indictment in the Western District of North Carolina charging Bernard von Nothaus, along with Sara Jane Bledsoe, William Kevin Innes and one additional defendant.

The charges include – conspiracy and uttering and passing coin of silver in resemblance of genuine coins of the United States in the denominations of five dollars and greater and intended for use as current money, plus one count of mail fraud. So now, after a year and a half of the government confiscation of all those assets and materials, Bernie will get his day in court. I wonder if the Feds are giving back all the arrest $50.jpgdenominations under $5 and all the copper and gold coinage, since those don’t seem to appear in the charges? I am also wondering how a pure silver coin of denominations $5 and high could possibly be mistaken for our copper-nickel plated circulating coins of denomination under $1? But that is the type of evidence I suppose will be presented in court…

Personaly I have seen both the notes of deposit and silver coins of the Liberty Dollar series and NORFED and I couldn’t ever imagine anyone mistaking these items for U.S. currency. On the other hand, I know that people have chosen to accept Liberty Dollars in transactions and that is of course what is upsetting to our government. Liberty Dollars have intrinsic value, while U.S. coinage is backed mostly by faith in the government alone.

tea party.jpgAs a sidebar, I should note a few additional developments in the Bernard von Nothaus story. First, in the year and half since the initial confiscation of coins, computers and records of Bernie’s Liberty Dollar business, their website has continued to keep people informed of the growth of their coinage. In particular, I found the Arrest Dollars quite interesting. Some of these new types are pictured in this posting. They feature a set of handcuffs privy mark – so we can assume that Bernie is maintaining his ever bouyant attitude!

Even further afield, Bernie has begun a second front in his testing of government and laws with the establishment of the Free Marijuana Church of Honolulu. With this new endeavor, von Nothaus combines his religious bent and search for enlightenment along with a third push for tax revolt and a new Tea Party Dollar issue which has been selling like crazy according to the website. This all harkens back to that 1968-1978 period of free thinking in American history and in Bernie’s case, aslo back to the days of his Royal Hawaiian Mint, when fanciful coin products were produced for happy Hawaiian visitors. For more about that series of coins and medals check out Hawaiian Money Standard Catalog 2nd edition by Donald Medcalf and Ronald Russell.

For additional perspectives on the Liberty Dollar story – read friend and fellow blogger Dave Harpers posting on Buzz with Dave Harper.

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3 Responses to Liberty Dollar – Federal Indictment

  1. Mr Chuck Schroeder says:

    Don’t cha know. all copper, gold and silver coin’s should be melted?. No matter who makes them. It’s time I added my 2 cents worth. I have been reading Numismatic News for years. Now, it’s my turn. The negativism of non licensed coin dealers, and real coin dealers. Do you think cherrypicking is pretty much the same as stealing?. Or should people be allowed to benefit from their superior knowledge, as long as they pay the dealer the price he wants for the coin, or wishes to give to you for spot price to melt down when selling it to them?. As most people are aware, the price of gold has reached record levels (from fear of loss and hype), and is currently flirting with $1,000 an ounce. Silver has more than tripled in just over 3 years, rising from $6.40 in Jan. 2005 to about $20 an ounce today. Pawn shops, jewelry stores, and so called coin dealers are all doing a very brisk business in buying gold and silver coin items from customers who want to cash in. Most of this gets melted down and/or resold fairly quickly at a real high price over gray sheet in a market like this. But should coin dealers be melting down the very treasures they are charged to protect and conserve for future generations of collectors?. Are some coins okay to melt but not others?. Personally, I am appalled at this mass melting of U.S. coinage. Perhaps this is an attitude found more commonly among the collectors of ancient coins than the modern coin collectors, but I see coin collectors and dealers as stewards of our national heritage. Not phony con-artist’s. These coins can never be replaced, and coin collectors have a duty to conserve and protect this heritage to pass down to future generations. After all, we can’t take them with us when we die, so melting them for bullion is just selfish and antisocial. On the other side of the coin, however, are the folks who believe that if you pay for the coin, you own it. It’s yours to do whatever you want with it, even destroy it by tossing it into the melting pot. It’s bad enough Coin Club’s are disappearing at an alarming rate, like the drive in movie places, use to be years ago, how is our children of today, going to find that coin, to put in a empty hole in a book, when the silver coins are all melted down for 10 times face, that gave some coin dealer 77 ounces of silver for $100 face value of silver coins and, kills the knowledge of what coin collecting is all about, "Children", and our hobby, and The Family.

  2. tom says:

    Interesting comments – but don’t see how they relate to this posting on the Libery Mint legal matters?

  3. Aidan Work says:

    Bernard von NotHaus should have his name changed to Bernard von NutCase.

    The so-called ‘Liberty Dollars’ have never been regarded as coins by collectors.

    To me,they should be classed solely as bullion.

    Aidan Work.

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