Liberty Dollar Founder Reportedly Found Guilty

The "Liberty Dollar Trial" web site, with extensive notes on the trial goings-on by an attendee, is reporting that Liberty Dollar founder Bernard von NotHaus has been found guilty on all counts.

Coin World magazine with details on what was at stake in the trial, in an article written as the trial got swinging last week:

Trial began March 8 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina in Statesville, where Bernard von NotHaus — creator of the Liberty Dollar – is being prosecuted on three criminal charges related to counterfeiting.

The federal government alleges that Von NotHaus, with three other defendants, worked together to violate the law by making Liberty Dollars the government characterizes as "coins" of silver "intended for use as current money" and "in resemblance of genuine coins of the United States ..."....

U.S. Assistant Prosecutor Craig Morenao, in opening statements, said the government would set out to prove that von NotHaus deliberately told people to give Liberty Dollars as change for Federal Reserve notes, in direct violation of laws that specifically prohibit the use of passing originally designed coins as current money.....

The prosecution's first witness, an FBI special agent, testified that the Liberty Dollar resembles and is confused with U.S. currency, and that the marketing of the Liberty Dollar was a multi-level marketing pyramid scheme.

The court in Statesville is already closed as I write this, so was not able to verify the "Liberty Dollar Trial" site report directly, but its author has been in court for the whole trial. Reason's previous coverage of Liberty Dollar legal troubles as they began back in 2007 here and here.

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  • Old Mexican||

    "The prosecution's first witness, an FBI special agent, testified that the Liberty Dollar resembles and is confused with U.S. currency,


    Which could be taken as either the LD coins resemblance to US Mint coins was exact, or that the FBI agent was too stupid to see differences in them. Take your pick...

    "[...]and that the marketing of the Liberty Dollar was a multi-level marketing pyramid scheme."


    Seems like the jury bought it, despite the fact that multi-level marketing schemes are legal in the U.S.

  • Cyto||

    Putting "USA" and "In God We Trust" on your silver coin is pretty good evidence that you intended people to think it was US currency. Otherwise you'd put "Liberty Currency LLC" on your coinage.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Cyto,

    Putting "USA" and "In God We Trust" on your silver coin is pretty good evidence that you intended people to think it was US currency.


    I see; so your own inability to tell them apart is prima facie evidence of fraud?

  • Huh?||

    Where did Cyto say that he could not tell them apart? He was pointing out the possible fraudulent intent of the manufacturer. You argue dishonestly.

  • One Objectivist||

    No, you argue dishonestly and anyone who says that things that look completely different are attempts to confuse people is arguing dishonestly.

  • Mike||

    Each coin has a phone number on it and norfed.org where you could check the status of it.

    They also didn't say "In God We Trust" though I admit "Trust God" was a little close.

  • ||

    So if I write USA and In God We Trust on a piece of paper, I'm guilty of counterfeiting dollar bills?

  • ||

    let's play "name the logical fallacy"

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Guilty of quantitative easing.

  • CE||

    They were definitely "coins", and many buyers undoubtedly would have like to use them for "current money", but to say they resembled "genuine" coins of the United States is ridiculous. A fifth grader could tell the difference.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: CE,

    A fifth grader could tell the difference.


    That makes shrike there a fourth-grader - he can't tell the difference.

  • Paul||

    "current money", but to say they resembled "genuine" coins of the United States is ridiculous. A fifth grader could tell the difference.

    Now we know why an FBI agent was testifying to the fact that he couldn't tell the difference.

  • One Objectivist||

    The word "coins" is reserved for only state issued money. You can say they were money, because lots of things can be money. But they were not coins and not marketed as such because that's one of the magical words that would make it an attempt to counterfeit (Even though it obviously bears no resemblance to any state currency.)

  • Paul||

    Because liberty isn't free.

  • CE||

    It's time to expand the old saying, "Don't steal, the government hates competition," to include "Don't coin money and sell it for more than what it's really worth, the government hates competition."

  • cynical||

    It's been time for that since governments have coined money.

  • ||

    "Don't coin money and sell it for more than what it's really worth..."

    That's actually a key question here. What is it really worth? The MINIMUM would be the bullion price of the associated precious metal. Then there are production and distribution costs that the issuer needs to recover. There may be collectible or artistic value involved. Finally, there is "scrip" or symbolic value -- the value ascribed to it by virtue of its being a token for additional real value in its underlying economy.

    VonNothaus said repeatedly that he was trying to establish a parallel economy in ALDs, one which he hoped would attract more participation as it grew larger. Instead of recovering costs of production and distribution the sneaky, backdoor way that governments do, through taxation and inflation, he marked up the LD pieces and bills upfront, and he or any of his people were happy to explain the mechanism (or let you read the book that did). Anyone who didn't think that accepting LDs was worth the trouble never had to, unlike "legal tender," which generally must be accepted as payment of debt whether one likes it or not. At one point, merchants accepting the LD gave DISCOUNTS for those who "paid in silver," because they felt the LD would more reliably hold its value over time and also because they wanted to keep business within the LD-economy as much as possible -- this is the same motivation as those who circulate and accept community currencies such as the Ithaca Hour. Unlike private scrip, however, the LD had a base rate of exchange OUTSIDE the LD economy that was the associated bullion value of the object. Rather than being evidence of a "scam," that seemed to me to be a form of "value insurance."

  • Waggoneer||

    If he was trying to make people think they were US currency, why would he make them out of gold and silver? Isn't that worth MORE than our current currency?
    And if what he was selling is worthless, why does the government want to seize his stocks of gold and silver through forefeiture?

  • ||

    This.

  • ||

    One more example to cite when anyone claims that the USA doesn't have any political prisoners.

    -jcr

  • Brian Brady||

    A modern day Lysander Spooner. To think one could compete against the Post Office (or US Mint)...as if

  • ||

    A person may trade Canadian Gold Maple Leafs or Kruggerands (sp?) for trade so why attempt to deceive another with a US coin facsimile?

    Yeah - it smacks of a counterfeit scheme.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: shrike,

    A person may trade Canadian Gold Maple Leafs or Kruggerands (sp?) for trade so why attempt to deceive another with a US coin facsimile?


    It wasn't a US coin facsimile.

    Yeah - it smacks of a counterfeit scheme.


    "Government is simply too decent to lie."

  • ||

    Yeah - it smacks of a counterfeit scheme.

    TARP, deficit spending stimulus and Q1 and Q2 have more of a resemblance to being a counterfeit schemes then the liberty coins does.

  • Paul||

    deceive another with a US coin facsimile?

    Was U.S. coin was it a copy of?

  • ||

    From the article -- "in resemblance of genuine coins of the United States ...".

    I have never seen the little disc myself - just read the article.

  • Cyto||

    The article at Coin World has a picture. It is not as finely engraved as US Mint coins, but it is clearly modeled to be similar to US currency. It has the word "Liberty" around the circumference of the face like a Kennedy 50 cent piece. The same word is on the face of US coins. It says "Trust in God" below and to the right of the profile liberty face - an obvious play on the "In God We Trust" stamp on US currency.

    The back is more amaturish, but the statue of liberty flame is clearly referential to the US 50 cent piece with the same size representation of the Statue of Liberty torch.

    It is obviously designed to be referential to US currency without actually claiming to be US currency.

  •  ||

    Looks like a U.S. Olympic coin. Which are legal tender.

  • GinSlinger||

    So, you're saying that a coin stamped $5 was intended to be confused with a coin worth 50 cents.

    That's a damn fine scam there.

  • ||

    There's also the small matter that every Liberty Dollar coin is worth at least 10x more in metal content than any US coin's face value. If this is a counterfeiting scam, it's a supremely stupid one.

  • Baron von Nut House||

    1) The case was brought against Bernard von Nothaus in the wake of the Ron Paul presidential campaign, Nothaus was issuing Ron Paul coins or rounds or whatever. So arguing anything beyond that motivation is silly.

    2) There is no aggrieved party. Nobody was injured, unlike the people that buy those commemorative coins. Or other numismatic coins.

    3) Both citizens and merchants have an obligation to know the denominations of the coin of the realm.

    4) None of the symbols on the coin are trademarks of the US government including the term dollar. The S with 2 strikes I will admit is close to being a $.

    But again Nothaus was arrested due to his support of Ron Paul so this discussion is kind of silly.

  • Brad Warbiany||

    "2) There is no aggrieved party"

    What about merchants, who, when they're selling at item marked at 10USD, are offered a 10ALD coin in exchange (the coin containing silver content worth less than 10USD)? The Liberty Dollar's marketing materials cleary suggested people should "spend it at a profit". They wanted to pass a 10ALD piece off as the equivalent of 10USD. They're different currencies -- if you want to float an exchange rate, you float an exchange rate. You don't assume it should be spent at parity.

  • Jeremy||

    You're an idiot. All those merchants are better off. The COIN they took for 10 FRNs is now worth 40 FRNs. Where is the damage?

  • Brad Warbiany||

    Really? You think whoever tried to spend that 10ALD told the vendor "hey, this is only worth 7.72USD today, but if you wait a year, it'll be worth 32.23USD!"

    No, that purchaser -- as was instructed by pretty much all of the Liberty Dollar marketing materials -- went in and spent it as if it were equivalent to 10USD. Not only that, the Liberty Dollar was sold to buyers with the express suggestion that you buy it and "spend it at a profit".

    How is this *not* fraud?

    Don't misunderstand me -- I'm a libertarian, I hate fiat currencies, and I'm in *favor* of alternate currencies. But this isn't an alternate currency.

    I explained in FAR greater detail here after the initial raid: http://www.thelibertypapers.or.....r-seizure/

  • One Objectivist||

    The ONLY way this wasn't an alternate currency is because you're a liar and wish to insist, arbitrarily, that it isn't one. Just because you don't like the choices they made to try and get a viable alternate currency going doesn't make those efforts illegitimate.

    Frankly,you haven't bothered to read the law, you don't have a basic grasp of the facts, but you feel compelled to bash these people who were actively trying to make a difference.

    No, you don't get to call yourself a libertarian, you're just another confused statist in my book.

  • Brad Warbiany||

    To be fair, I can't believe they were convicted on all counts. "Conspiracy against the US"?? The psychotic US Attorney who called this "domestic terrorism"? Ridiculous.

    But the charge of "of issuing and passing Liberty Dollar coins intended for use as current money" seems pretty solid. Again, all the proof comes straight from the marketing materials -- asking people to spend it just like US currency. It was clear that the entire structure of the Liberty Dollar was premised on the idea that people would spend it at parity with the US dollar. How is that an "alternative" currency? Alternative currencies have exchange rates between them. You don't go into a store and expect to pay 100 Yen for a 100USD item -- why would you expect to pay 100ALD for a 100USD item?

    That's the problem -- "intended for use as current money". They didn't ever *claim* it was legal tender. They didn't expressly copy any US coins (I'm not read up enough on counterfeiting law to know if the "resembling and similar to US coins" charge should stick, but I personally lean towards *no*). But they clearly and openly asked that the ALD be spent at parity with the USD, which means to me that they intended it for use as current money, rather than as an alternative currency.

  • ||

    The merchant made an offer 10 USD for these goods that you want.

    You then make the counteroffer, this 1/2 ounce silver coin denominated as 10 ALD.

    If the merchant accepts, what's the problem?

    Those goods the merchant is selling you are also marked up. Merchents in the program were encouraged to offer change in ALD, but were also required to accept ALD at parity.

    It was fashioned a mix of local currencies that have been circulated and used in thousands of localities, most at parity. However instead of being backed by value in local trade it was additionally backed by a bullion value should the value in trade fall through.

  • One Objectivist||

    Any person who took ALD instead of USD preferred ALD. Nobody involved in ALD was spreading them around claiming they were USD. A conviction on that might have some merit. But for people who prefer silver over paper, this was an alternative. Many people didn't because they thought it was unpatriotic or a bad deal-- their right in any marketplace.

    But offering them a deal they don't like is not "aggrieving" them!

  • sevo||

    shrike|3.18.11 @ 5:31PM|#
    "The government said so"

    Wonderful; you've lowered the bar farther than I thought was possible!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Paul,

    It resembles this coin, the Peace Dollar, which has not been in circulation for over 60 years or so.

    Here's the article on it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_Dollar

    The Liberty Dollar resembles it but it is clearly NOT the same. Only Fed-lovers think it is.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Of course you'll use this kind of argument, shrike... your god of the state is being threatened.

  • BakedPenguin||

    It doesn't look like US currency. It doesn't have a picture of a dead political leader on it.

  • ¢||

    If those trial notes aren't leaving out...everything, what was proven in court was that the guy criticized the Fed, and he made a dumb pizza lady want to cry, possibly by accident.

    Dude was doomed. That's the strongest federal prosecution case I've ever seen.

    (I'm not being sarcastic.)

  • Framer||

    congress shall make no law!

    ((rolling in grave))

  • ||

    "Bernard von NotHaus"? Wow, what a Pynchonesque name. I can imagine he has to spell that out pretty often. "No, it's not 'Nuthouse'!"

  • cynical||

    Yeah, as soon as I read that, I though "what an unfortunate name".

  • ||

    "No state shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts".
    So, not only do they not fore-fill their obligation to make the proper coinage, they pass fiat currency. And the Federal reserve is counterfeiting tons of money at this very moment. Whens Ben and Timmy's trial?

  • ||

    "in direct violation of laws that specifically prohibit the use of passing originally designed coins as current money"..... Show us that law, what are US coins? Are not they originally designed? As long as it didn't say "legal tender" on it, who would think it's legal tender? There is such a thing as bartering, which is legal, people can exchange whatever the hell they want, as long as they both agree with the value. I don't agree with the "value" of the dollars I'm given, but I have no choice, the government makes me take their worthless paper, and pass the illegitimate "notes" on to others as if it's "real" money. Give me a break, F-K.

  • One Objectivist||

    I've read the law. These people had their product checked out by members of the federal reserve, lawyers, the US mint, etc. Then the US mint decided that they were getting too much business selling competitively against them (not in currency, but in the "fancy proof coins" market) and started criticizing the Liberty Dollar publically.

    As part of that criticism, the US Mint spokesman said the liberty dollar was illegal.

    The Liberty Dollar sued the US mint for that. As part of this case, they presented proof that they were legal to the court.

    Meanwhile, some asshole FBI agent had a personal vendetta against one of the people in his state involved with the liberty dollar and "started an investigation".

    The FBI seized $5M in gold, silver and platinum (probably worth $9M now) based on falsehoods this FBI agent put in an affidavit, which resulted in a seizure warrant *signed by the very judge who was hearing the Liberty Dollar suit!*

    This means the judge authorized the theft of $5M that he knew for a fact-- because he had the proof in hand as part of the other trial-- was legitimate goods.

    Years pass and eventually they indict and then convict. Thought the alleged crimes in the affidavit and presumably at trial are obviously false on the face of them.

    This proves to me that in the USA there is no rule of law. The government can convict whoever you want, and I'm certain the jurors in this case were filled with a lot of bullshit and actually believed he was guilty of a crime, even though no law makes what was done here illegal.

    Look at how many commenters here-- even on Reason-- who know nothing about the law in question but are certain a crime was committed.

    People have become so conditioned by the state that the idea of making an alternative currency "feels wrong" simply because we've been taught to believe that the state has a monopoly on that-- even though there was no law criminalizing what was done here.

  • SIV||

    Look at how many commenters here-- even on Reason-- who know nothing about the law in question but are certain a crime was committed.

    New here?
    Reason's favorite flavor of icecream is "jackboot".

  • ||

    This proves to me that in the USA there is no rule of law.

    That pretty much got thrown out when the congress passed the Alien and Sedition acts. Since then, it's just been a matter of what the government thought they could get away with.

    -jcr

  • ||

    The whole idea that 1) anyone with half a brain couldn't tell LDs from official US currency; or 2) that the Liberty Dollar organization set out to defraud anyone by claiming LDs to be official US currency is ridiculous. The whole LD marketing approach turned on making SURE that the person accepting the LD knew it was NOT US currency, because US currency could not be redeemed for silver or gold, and was rotting away through inflation. Someone with a $5 US bill in hand has paper, the purchasing power of which has evaporated over time. Someone with a $5 LD silver piece in hand has an item that, over the long haul, has increased in real value AND collectible value.

    How is it possible for someone who has actually delivered real, appreciating value to customers, to be charged with fraud, in comparison and competition with an organization that has consistently and systematically ERODED the asset values of its own products? It's like Rolex being found guilty in court for selling a watch that bears too close a likeness to those watches that street peddlers try to sell you in New York. If vonNothaus has indeed been found "guilty," it is only through Bizarro-world logic.

    Unanswered, as yet, is what will become of all the seized precious-metal pieces, which were allegedly the backing for the paper LD "warehouse receipts." Regardless of what happens to vonNothaus, the right thing for the government to do is to get that property to its rightful owners -- the holders of the warehouse receipts. Instead, I hear that they are trying to take it all through forfeiture maneuvers.

    Looks to me as if the ones doing the defrauding and theft are out self-styled official "protectors," and that they need to be turned out as soon as the people can possibly arrange it. After reading the Raich opinion, several years ago, I thought I couldn't ever be more disgusted by the Federal Government. But this week I read of the drumbeat to war with Libya, and the possible conviction of vonNothaus, and I realize that I was simply suffering a failure of imagination. The depth of government perfidy seems truly bottomless.

  • ||

    The Evansvalle (IN) Courier and Press provides this account:

    http://www.courierpress.com/ne.....nd-guilty/

  • ||

    From the article:

    "The United States is seeking the forfeiture of about 16,000 pounds of Liberty Dollar coins and precious metals, valued at nearly $7 million."

    The government just wants that money. Hey, they need to pay their debts somehow!

  • ||

    I wonder if there are any grounds for appeal? It would sure be sweet to see this get to the Supreme Court. Even if the case lost, it would be interesting to read what Clarence Thomas would write (in dissent, one could only hope).

  • KingofthePaupers||

    Jct: That's what Bernard von NotHaus gets for making his coins look like real money. No other local alternative currency has gotten into trouble. Ithaca Hour notes, Bershares, Pittsboro Plenty's, no problem. Liberty Dollars, jail! Har har har.

  • ||

    Actually, vonNothaus many times said his money looked BETTER than "real money." "Beautiful" was the word I often heard and read. Again, it boggles the imagination that someone who provides BETTER goods than the shoddy government issue variety should be hauled into court, much less convicted and/or thrown into prison.

    The real crime appears to be the forfeiture maneuver. Can we (at least the people who really own this property) stop this? How?

  • SIV||

  • Juice||

    Wow. So striking disks of silver seeks to "challenge the legitimacy of our democratic form of government."

    Who knew? Thank god the FBI could figure out this insidious scheme and this clear and present danger.

  • SIV||

    I'm amazed that JUST "challenging the legitimacy of our democratic form of government" is a FedCrime.I think I missed that in civics class.

  • Kate||

    I read that article and my first response to that quote was "Legitimate? How?" And "Economic stability? Where?"

  • ||

    “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.”

    Tony, Sheik, Edward....time to file a complaint with the feds about Reason.com and the clear and present danger it poses to us and our very way of life!

    C'mon boys...do it for America. We can't possibly survive yet another insidious non-violent anti-government challenge to our hallowed democratic institutions!

  • ||

    So, who's ready to step up with coinage denominated by weight? I'd buy 10, 25, 50, and 100 gram gold and silver coins.

    -jcr

  • ||

    i championed the idea of using gold/silver coin for barter in the creation of an alternate economy, and when Von Nuthaus started Liberty Dollar, i wrote him about his stupid coins, then called him on RBN radio and expressed my same concerns, and even wrote many of his followers who had radio shows and banks that were selling and promoting his coins: each time, telling them how stupid it was to make his coins with the federal reserve equivalency stamped on the coins. not only was it irritating to me to have coins that had numbers that would be invalidated by FRN inflation, but his coins also clearly violated the counterfeiting laws, and he even created videos showing himself deceivingly passing the coins off to vendors as "real money", and encouraging others to do the same, which is fraud on the average dumbass in the USA these days.

    he delegitimized the valid arguments against FRNs, encouraged the fraudulent use of the coins, and sold the coins far far above their actual value.

    IMHO, he should have been merely stamping them "1oz .999 Fine Gold/Silver" or whatever, with some ridges on the edges, and nothing else. that would have been good enough!

    but no, the idiot WANTED to DECEIVE, and that IS fraud and counterfeit.

    1792 Coinage Act, Section 10: And be it further enacted, That, upon the said coins respectively, there shall be the following devices and legends, namely: Upon one side of each of the said coins there shall be an impression emblematic of liberty [Von Nuthaus stamped the Statue of Liberty Head/Torch], with an inscription of the word Liberty [Von Nuthaus stamped "Liberty"], and the year of the coinage [Von Nuthaus stamped the year]; and upon the reverse of each of the gold and silver coins here shall be the figure or presentation of an eagle, with this inscription, "United states of America" [Von Nuthaus stamped USA] and upon the reverse of each of the copper coins, there shall be an inscription which shall express the denomination for the piece [Von Nuthaus stamped the $denomination], namely, cent or half cent, as the case may require.

    he also stamped "Trust In God" just as US coins have "In God We Trust".

    the man was an a**hole, and so were all the people that heard me call him up on the radio, and didn't care, and so are all the other people that i wrote to and never replied. he just destroyed one of the best things that could have been done in the USA at this time.

    Monetary Architect for the Royal Hawaiian Mint - haha. he was a scammer from the start, and anyone following scammers in Patriotic efforts does 10x more evil than good.

    the problem is, people in the USA have such corrupted minds, they can't tell the truth even if it would serve them well to do so. stand for nothing, fall for anything. good riddance to Nuthaus, now can someone just please start moving .999 coins around with the stamp of their content & weight, and sell them at the same price as US coins? thanks, that would be just great.

  • ||

    AND REMEMBER: it doesn't matter if something is right or wrong or legal or illegal or ANYTHING. the ONLY THING THAT MATTERS is what the idiots on a jury will think. and don't expect too much. you will be in front of people with 60-100 IQ on average, depending on the color - AND THAT ISN'T VERY BRIGHT!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Did Chad say something? I was busy taking a shit.

  • ||

    no, Chad is not saying anything, he is busy at work at the Royal Hawaiian Mint.

  • ||

    a main point related to "honest money" is that only a people with integrity/honor (as well as a decent respect for each other and their environment) can advance decent society/life/govt. the more corrupt the people, the more people want something for nothing, the lower the standard of living and quality of life. that is why you will never see Africa or Southeast Asia create decent societies: because the people are simply too corrupt (which also appears to strongly correlate with intelligence). and that is also a big part of why the standard of living will generally deteriorate into the future. you can't have a stupid/corrupt people, and decent society/life/govt. Nuthaus did little to advance honesty/integrity, and quite a lot to advance schemes and deception for profit.

    a fraudulent background along with used-car-salesman tactics and multi-level-marketing type schemes for profit were not the best way to advance honest money, and did quite a bit to destroy it. it turned me off from the start his NORFED. what was the value of using Liberty Dollars compared to using Silver Eagles? the only apparent value of using Liberty Dollars was the abililty to profit those selling them, and deceive those receiving them (though, it was nice to have fractional coins minted). am i wrong? maybe i am missing something, it's possible.

  • ||

    "the only apparent value of using Liberty Dollars was the ability to profit those selling them..."

    Do you think the government takes a loss on production and distribution of its money, whether metal or paper? No way. It comes out of our pockets, one way or another: taxation, inflation, direct surcharge for numismatic collectors' coinage, etc.

    Why are these methods to recoup the costs any more legitimate or honorable than building them into the LD's two-stage distribution arrangement -- which has more in common with similar arrangements made by Apple Computer or GM than with actual MLM, such as Amway? (My relatives got hooked into Amway, and I worked for major corporations -- including Apple -- so I know the difference. Do you?)

    I am more likely to be charitable to von Nothaus, whatever his sins, because if he really HAD been running a coldly calculated scam, and making money hand over fist from the rubes, his operation wouldn't have been as obviously slipshod, at the same time as his product was clearly a labor of love and skill. He would have absconded with the loot, or, had he stayed to face the music, would have been able to afford better representation. Look at how long Madoff got away with his operation, for instance, and at the high-priced help he was able to retain to defend himself when his time in court finally came.

    Even criticizing him as much as possible, I can see von Nothaus only as a Harold Hill or a Harry Mudd. The government seems to have seized on this basically harmless guy, and proceeded to tear him apart, as a sideshow to distract the rubes from what their slicker operators are doing in DC, to polish the image of their own, very real and very harmful and dangerous, big-time con, and to serve as a warning to anyone who might ever entertain thoughts of doing what vonNothaus attemped.

  • ||

    fractional coins ...

    i haven't been involved with coins and monetary system thinking for over 7 years, but looking around today, i found these, which may interest some:

    http://www.goldenstatemint.com.....tional.jpg

    http://www.goldenstatemint.com.....ionals.jpg

    very nice ... that's all we need.

  • ||

    > Do you think the government takes a
    loss on production and distribution of
    its money, whether metal or paper? No
    way. It comes out of our pockets, one
    way or another: taxation, inflation,
    direct surcharge for numismatic
    collectors' coinage, etc. Why are these
    methods to recoup the costs any more
    legitimate or honorable than building
    them into the LD's two-stage
    distribution arrangement -- which has
    more in common with similar arrangements
    made by Apple Computer or GM than with
    actual MLM, such as Amway?

    because the markups on the Liberty
    Dollar were extreme. i can't remember
    the exact figures, but they were several
    dollars over spot, compared to
    approximately $1 for other mints. their
    product was totally non-competative with
    other mints, and only a fool would pay
    them the price they were asking for
    their coins/notes. it wasn't a matter
    of "recouping costs", it was a matter of
    making several dollars of profit for
    each coin in a stupid attempt to expand
    the business via MLM, in detriment the
    basic idea of expanding of a bartering
    economy.

    > I am more likely to be charitable to
    von Nothaus, whatever his sins, because
    if he really HAD been running a coldly
    calculated scam, and making money hand
    over fist from the rubes, his operation
    wouldn't have been as obviously
    slipshod,

    well, he did make money "hand over fist"
    off of suckers (500%+ more profit compared
    to other mints), in addition to keeping
    all the silver from all the backing
    notes that were lost/destroyed in
    circulation. but i would say the real
    scam was when he would encourage people
    to pay for things with his money, with
    the implication that people would accept
    his coins because of their appearance,
    eg, because they would look like
    legitimate currency. that was the whole
    reason for putting FRN denominations on
    his coins. and i am sure, a big reason
    for the jury convicting on some of his
    charges.

    > He would have absconded with the loot,
    or, had he stayed to face the music,
    would have been able to afford better
    representation.

    it is well known that people fair better
    without attorneys. at least, i have
    read many studies over the years that
    demonstrate it. attorneys just steal,
    then sell you out. their priorities of
    obligations are firstly to the courts,
    then to the public, then lastly, you.
    attorneys don't bust their ass to defend
    anyone without $1000s per hour. i believe
    he didn't have money for
    attorneys because the govt confiscated
    several million of his wealth as part of
    "asset forfeiture".

    > Look at how long Madoff got away with
    his operation, for instance, and at the
    high-priced help he was able to retain
    to defend himself when his time in court
    finally came.

    Madoff gave his initial clients high
    returns. i don't know what the
    comparison is supposed to infer.

    > The government seems to have seized on
    this basically harmless guy, and
    proceeded to tear him apart, as a
    sideshow to distract the rubes from what
    their slicker operators are doing in DC,
    to polish the image of their own, very
    real and very harmful and dangerous,
    big-time con, and to serve as a warning
    to anyone who might ever entertain
    thoughts of doing what vonNothaus
    attemped.

    he was commiting felonies, knowingly and
    willingly. there are plenty of other
    mints selling coins that have no
    problems whatsoever because they aren't
    stupid enough to put FRN denominations
    on their coins, then telling people to try
    to pass them off as legitimate currency.

    i didn't post anything to defend the
    govt, and technically, i am legally on the
    side of von Nothaus. i am just saying he
    was a greedy (for his markup of several dollars
    over spot) megalomaniacal (for trying to create
    a system to overtake the federal reserve)
    moron (for creating evidence against himself
    himself by passing his coins/notes to vendors
    as currency).

    i am 100% for the use of gold/silver coin in
    the use of barter for products and services,
    and 100% for creating an alternate economy.
    i myself only accept gold/silver coin for my
    business (i will sell customers gold/silver
    if they don't have any), and try to buy from
    businesses that accept gold/silver for payment.
    so, i am all for the basic idea. i just put
    Nothaus in the category of law gurus that have
    all the great secrets, yet never learned
    how to operate and function successfully in court.

  • ||

    Just wondering.. did Bernard von NotHaus
    create a board of governors that are curiously almost exclusively Jewish ??? you know...like the Federal Reserve.

  • ||

    Chad, the "several dollars over spot" varied continuously, and for quite a while was not more than a dollar or so over spot. I know this for a fact. von Nothaus had a complex formula for the markup, which was tied to the 90 day moving average for the metal. So, sometimes there would be "profit" that you would call "extreme." At other times, not really. The point of this formula was to more gently deal with the volatility of silver, because the ALD was intended as a stable currency, not a commodity metal. I actually watched this "move-up/move-down" mechanism in action over several years, and it seemed to do its job.

    Also, Chad, especially when you consider the costs of shipping and handling, is is really possible for the average guy to get silver rounds for "$1 over spot" in onesy-twosy quantities? It costs real money and time to get those items into people's hands. If von Nothaus's distribution organization allowed person-to-person delivery, with the intermediaries pocketing what Fedex, UPS, or the USPS would have collected for the same service, it is hard for me to see the harm in that. You and the government try to make this look like von Nothaus was fleecing suckers, left and right. But could the same people REALLY have acquired small amounts of minted silver rounds for much less than ALDs? I looked into this and saw that the difference seemed pretty much a wash.

    Second, you once again demonstrate that you don't really know what "MLM" means. A multiple-tier distribution system, such as used by the LD organization -- involving producers, wholesalers, and retailers -- is commonplace in industry. True MLM, as perfected by Amway and similar groups, involves building deep distribution networks (more levels than 2 or 3), in which tribute is paid by the newer "troops" to all those above them. This is not at all what the ALD organization was doing. To characterize their activities as MLM is, at best, a profound mistake and, at worst, a cynical lie. In which camp do YOU fall? (I think the government falls in the latter.)

    "...he would encourage people to pay for things with his money, with the implication that people would accept his coins because of their appearance, eg, because they would look like legitimate currency..."

    No. He encouraged people to pay for things with ALDs because the recipients would like to have real silver in their hands instead of paper or base-metal coins. He was clear that, if anyone preferred government money, they should be given it. He spent considerable effort to convince people that his audited operation was more trustworthy and transparent than the government's printing press scam -- something a con man might do, perhaps, but NOT a counterfeiter. Again, the whole operation was oriented around getting people to ABANDON government money in as many transactions as they could -- "one dollar at a time" -- not trying to convince people that what he offered WAS government money.

    "...that was the whole reason for putting FRN denominations on his coins..." So YOU say, and so the government wanted the jury to believe. From his own writings and speeches, however, it was clear that he wanted to offer a competing currency, and, as the US had no legal ownership of the term, "dollar," while the public was used to valuing things in "dollars" (and also was forced to use them via legal tender laws), he decided to make it easy for people to exchange ALDs for government money.

    I agree that he should have made the ALDs much more different from government money than he did, but 1) I don't think this was a deliberate attempt at deception; and 2) government money became a swiftly moving target, soon after the ALD was introduced. The government has been on a spree of introducing new-design coins and bills during the past decade or so. VonNothaus would have had to go to some lengths to avoid SOME resemblance to "current money," and, whatever you may believe, his was a small, shoestring operation, especially in comparison to the government's.

    Finally, I agree with you about his many mistakes in the legal realm. People warned him about government legal strategies and tactics, and he proceeded to handle his case with colossal ineptitude. But that's not a moral reason to toss him in jail, though the government will take whatever victory it can engineer, I guess.

  • ||

    Damn this is ridiculous. Gold and Silver are what is really currency under the Constitution, not this Fake Civilian Federal Reserve Dollar that they push on to everyone. Hell if they are going to do that then they should go after all those damn terrorists in Langdon, ND, using those Langdon Dollars. I'm sure there so many other terrorist towns in America as well under this bogus scam for power of the Federal Reserve Bank. Which is not even American it's Foreign Own and Operated. May the real God save America.

  • Jeremy||

    The bottom line is that the USD is the source of ALL their power, and they'll do whatever they have to do protect that power - even if it means bankrupting you and leaving you to die.

  • Cure ear infection||

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  • ||

    The arrest and conviction of Von Nothaus is an unbelievable injustice. I purchased a few Liberty rounds online several years ago. There was no question that I was buying bullion, not US currency. And, who would make a counterfeit coin using precious metals that exceeded the value of the worthless crap, token grade coinage circulated by the federal reserve. This ruling is not only an attack on all Americans but an attack on the US Constitution. History has shown most will not get involved because they believe the ruling doesn't affect them. I wonder who will get involved when they come.... for you? be free

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