CoinWeek Staff Reports ….
Bernard von NotHaus, creator of the American Liberty Dollar (ALD), was sentenced to three years probation by a federal judge on December 2. This comes almost four years after his March 18, 2011 conviction in federal court on counterfeiting and conspiracy charges.
Von NotHaus was the founder and president of Liberty Services, formerly known as the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve and the Internal Revenue Code (NORFED), a group the Southern Poverty Law Center says had connections to anti-semitism and the radical right.
Starting in 1998 and ending in July 2009–nearly two years after federal officials raided the group’s headquarters in Evansville, Indiana–NORFED and subsequently Liberty Services exchanged Liberty Dollars for federal reserve notes, with the intent to mix Liberty Dollars into the money supply of the United States to actively compete with U.S. currency. Von NotHaus’ leadership of both Liberty Services and NORFED officially ended on or around September 30, 2008.
The federal investigation of von NotHaus and his organization(s) began in 2005 and concerned the alleged minting of Liberty Dollars, then valued at approximately seven million dollars.
In 2006, the United States Mint, in coordination with the Justice Department, issued a press release warning consumers not to confuse Liberty Dollars with legal tender U.S. currency.
In the 2007 raid, federal officials seized documents and almost two tons of Ron Paul gold Liberty Dollars from Liberty Services’ office in Evansville. Other amounts of gold and silver were also taken.
Von NotHaus’ conviction in 2011 was on charges of conspiracy to publish, possess and sell/utter counterfeit coins in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, mail fraud or aiding and abetting in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341 and 2, and counterfeiting, uttering counterfeit coins, or aiding and abetting of such in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 485, 486 and 2.
’Uttering’ is the act of putting coins or currency into circulation.
Until Tuesday’s decision by U.S. District Judge Richard L. Voorhees in Statesville, North Carolina, von NotHaus faced over 20 years in federal prison. Instead, the 70-year-old von NotHaus was sentenced to three years probation on each of the three counts, to be served concurrently.
He will also be serving six months house arrest.
Update: Article updated to include references.