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HomeCrime and FraudBernard von NotHaus, "Architect" of the Liberty Dollar, to be Sentenced

Bernard von NotHaus, “Architect” of the Liberty Dollar, to be Sentenced

Liberty Dollar creator and self-proclaimed “monetary architect” Bernard von NotHaus, who was found guilty in US federal court in North Carolina in March 2011 of counterfeiting and fraud, is scheduled to appear on December 2 before U.S. District Court Judge Richard L. Voorhees. The now-70-year-old von NotHaus has been awaiting sentencing for over 3 1/2 years.

NotHaus_liberty_dollars_smThe Justice Department asserted that von NotHaus was placing gold, and silver coins, along with precious metals currency into circulation with the purpose of mixing them “into the current money of the United States.”. In short, the government accused von NotHaus of counterfeiting.

Von NotHaus did appeal his conviction stating….[1]

“…if anything is clear from the evidence presented at trial, it is that the last thing Mr. von NotHaus wanted was for Liberty Dollars [to] be confused with coins issued by the United States government…His intention – to protest the Federal Reserve system – has always been plain. The jury’s verdict conflates a program created to function as an alternative to the Federal Reserve system with one designed to [deceive] people into believing it was the very thing Mr. von NotHaus was protesting in the first place…the Liberty Dollars was not a counterfeit and was not intended to function as such. The verdict is a perversion of the counterfeiting statutes and should be set aside.”

Judge Voorhees rejected von NotHaus’s appeal.

Mr. von NotHaus developed the Liberty Dollar in 1998. as an “inflation-proof” alternative currency to the U.S. Dollar, which he has claimed has devalued since the Federal Reserve was established in 1913. The silver and gold “coins” were produced by the Sunshine Mint in Idaho on behalf of the Evansville, Illinois-based Liberty Services, which also issued paper notes that the group says are backed by silver reserves.

In November of 2007, federal officials raided the group’s headquarters, located in a strip mall, and seized all documents and the gold and silver that backed up the paper certificates and digital currency being distributed through Liberty Services website. In addition, all coins, bullion and even the dies used to strike the Liberty dollar coins held in the vault at the Sunshine Mint have also been confiscated.

The following was the full statement issued by the US Attorney’s Office after the guilty verdict was announced:

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

The guilty verdict concluded an investigation that began in 2005 and involved the minting of Liberty Dollar coins with a current value of approximately $7 million. Joining the U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins in making today’s announcement are Edward J. Montooth, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI, Charlotte Division, Russell F. Nelson, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Charlotte Division, and Sheriff Van Duncan of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office.

Bernard Von NotHaus
Bernard Von NotHaus

According to the evidence introduced during the trial, von NotHaus was the founder of an organization called the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve and Internal Revenue Code, commonly known as NORFED and also known as Liberty Services. Von NotHaus was the president of NORFED and the Executive Director of Liberty Dollar Services, Inc. until on or about September 30, 2008.

Von NotHaus designed the Liberty Dollar currency in 1998 and the Liberty coins were marked with the “$”, the word 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.

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.” The Mint press release and public service announcement stated that the Department of Justice had determined that the use of Liberty Dollars as circulating money was a federal crime.

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. This power was delegated to Congress in order to establish and preserve a uniform standard of value and to insure a singular monetary system for all purchases and debts in the United States, public and private.

Along with the power to coin money, Congress has the concurrent power to restrain the circulation of money which is not issued under its own authority in order to protect and preserve the constitutional currency for the benefit of all citizens of the nation. It is a violation of federal law for individuals, such as von NotHaus, or organizations, such as NORFED to create private coin or currency systems to compete with the official coinage and currency of the United States.

Von NotHaus faces a sentence of up to 15 years imprisonment on Count Two of the Indictment and a fine of not more than $250,000. Von NotHaus faces a prison sentence of five years and fines of $250,000 on both Counts One and Three.

Anne Magee Tompkins
Anne Magee Tompkins – United States Attorney

“Attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism,” US 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.”

When asked about the government’s motive for accusing him of terrorism, von NotHaus replied, “This is the United States government. It’s got all the guns, all the surveillance, all the tanks, it has nuclear weapons, and it’s worried about some ex-surfer guy making his own money? Give me a break!” [2]


[1]   Bernard von NotHaus Seeks Acquittal, New TrialTitania – the Open Source Ethical Society

[2]  Feuer, Alan. “Prison May Be the Next Stop on a Gold Currency Journey”. The New York Times (Malibu, California). Archived from the original on December 17, 2012.

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  1. Thou shalt have no money other than Feral Reserve Bankster Money. The “useful idiots and sycophants of the Feral Gov. spout the very words that condemn the Feral Reserve scam money but they see not or ignore their own hypocrisy.
    The Liberty coin is obviously just a “round”, but establishes a Feral Court precedent for eventual confiscation of gold and silver coins. A bankrupt government does what it must do to survive.The Constitution is just a piece of paper like the Feral Reserve Note.
    Choose one or the other, you can’t have both.

    “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”
    George Washington

  2. If I could wave a wand and become President tomorrow, I would immediately vacate the verdict against NotHaus, make him my new Secretary of the Treasury, with the Constitutional duty of “coining money and regulating its value”, and put that prosecutor to work sweeping floors at the Fed (before its dismantling), the only work for which she shows solid aptitude…

  3. The only counterfeiters here are the judge, prosecutors and Federal Reserve who pass off worthless paper that is no longer backed by gold (or anything else) as “money.”

    Von Nothaus is a hero, not a criminal. It’s a shame that the judge and jury were too stupid to know the difference.

  4. It seems to me that what Bernard Von NotHaus currency is more in line with the law-of-the-land than the worthless paper produced for Americans because it is backed with gold & silver.

  5. Well since we don’t have any lawful money in this country how are we supposed to actually buy anything? Federal Reserve Notes are not money, they are legal tender to discharge debt. That means when you “buy” something with them all you are doing is discharging the debt which just passes that debt to the seller. It’s like trading an IOU and telling the seller to go collect from the IOU signatory. This also means that the car you “bought” isn’t really your property so you never receive title to it, only a certificate of title.

    Since we’re all transient in this world and can’t take anything with us when we leave most people are content with only having control and use of their possessions. The fact that it’s deceptive and not fair to all as it puts more wealth into the pockets of the super-rich should be of concern to anyone who wants a better life for their descendants.

    Guess he should have named the coins Barter Dollars so we can just trade silver or gold for whatever we need. No money needs to be involved.

  6. Firtsly…When she uses the term “democracy’ she obviously has no understanding of the word

    Second..I am not American but doesn’t your constitution mention something that the currency MUST be backed by or be of gold and silver??

    America has truly lost it’s way and the principals it was built on…very sad indeed!

  7. Receivers of these liberty dollars were circulating gold and silver, things that have retained their value over time whereas the federal reserve note has lost 95% of its value since the creation of the private federal reserve in 1913. Who was being victimised by Bernard von NotHaus ?

  8. Back in the mid 1800’s there was a counterfeiting case prosecuted against the Yocum family. The Yocum’s owned a silver mine and, because coinage was scarce produced their own coins. The Feds charged the Yocums with counterfeiting. The Court found that, since the Yocum dollars contained more silver than the Coinage Act required for US Dollars, the Coins were determined to NOT be counterfeit.

  9. If you look at the money it doesn’t look like anything created by the U.S. mint. People would still be allowed to spend it as long as the seller accepted it. Not sure if the Judges even know the law pertaining to money. U.S. money is only accepted for debts of service or product, that has nothing to do with many purchases. This needs to go to the Supreme Court.


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