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Old March 10th, 2008 #1
Alex Linder
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Default Real Money: Feds Fear Liberty Dollar


Bernard von NotHaus says his Liberty Dollars are valid notes of exchange. The government disagreed, and seized two tons of silver coins and notes last fall.

Tax Protesters
Extremist 'Currency' Seized in Crackdown


Last Dec. 4, the Polk County (Wisconsin) Sheriff's Office received a report of a man causing a disturbance at a local gas station after a clerk there refused to accept silver coins that were not U.S. currency as payment. When a deputy arrived, Balsam Lake resident Martin Chapman, a self-declared "sovereign citizen," fled to a nearby house where he armed himself with a crowbar.

After Chapman ignored several orders to drop his weapon, the deputy Tasered and pepper-sprayed him. Chapman continued threatening the deputy, who then fired a single shot. Chapman wasn't hit but pretended to be, investigators said.

Arrested for attempted battery of an officer and fleeing an officer, Chapman tried to pay his $35,000 cash-only bond with what a police report described as "30 silver pieces."

Although it wasn't clear from police reports, it's likely that the coins Chapman offered were "Liberty Dollars," a brand of "currency" that's popular with tax resisters and sovereign citizens, who typically believe that the federal government has no right to tax or otherwise regulate them. If they were, Chapman was trying to spend what could soon be hard-to-come-by collector's items. That's because federal agents last November seized two tons of Liberty Dollars from a warehouse in Asheville, N.C., that belongs to Liberty Services, a group formerly known as the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve, or NORFED.

Many extremists believe that the Federal Reserve, America's central bank, is actually a private body secretly run for personal profit at the expense of everyday Americans. Some subscribe to the belief that its owners are an international cartel of Jewish bankers.

Bernard von NotHaus, Liberty Services' leader in Evansville, Ind., is a longtime promulgator of the theory that U.S. dollars have been illegitimate currency since the Federal Reserve was established in 1913. Liberty Dollars, Von NotHaus says, are a "private voluntary barter currency" pressed at the company's private mint in Idaho. He claims the Liberty Dollars are "100% backed by silver" and accepted by hundreds of businesses listed on his website.

In September 2006, the U.S. Mint warned Von NotHaus that circulating Liberty Dollars in lieu of U.S. currency is a crime. Nevertheless, Von NotHaus continued to mint the coins, even introducing the new "Ron Paul Dollar" in $1 copper, $20 silver, and $1000 gold denominations. In court documents, federal agents pointed out that, at current silver prices, each of Liberty Services' $20 coins is actually worth around $15.

Von NotHaus remains defiant. He claims to be minting a new "arrest" batch of Liberty Dollars, complete with a small handcuff mintmark. His website directs that advance payment be made in U.S. currency or checks made out to "Bernard."

http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intel...le.jsp?aid=890
 
Old March 10th, 2008 #2
Itz_molecular
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There's an 1860's law against the issuance of private currency . They may invoke that.
 
Old December 1st, 2012 #3
Anders Hoveland
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I think the reason he was arrested, and the coins seized, were because the US Mint believed the coins "resembled" US silver coins. It was determined that they violated federal counterfeiting statutes. I could easily understand how ordinary people could confuse the Liberty dollar with a similar looking coin issued by the US mint.

What the company Liberty Services should have done was issue silver coins not dominated in dollars, but rather labled with just the silver content.
I am sure that if the Liberty coins were in the shape of an octogon and clearly labled that they were NOT official US government money, there would be no problem.
 
Old December 1st, 2012 #4
Stephen
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If silver's better, why would the seller want US currency?
 
Old December 1st, 2012 #5
Steven L. Akins
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itz_molecular View Post
There's an 1860's law against the issuance of private currency . They may invoke that.
That never stopped mines and mills from issuing their own clacker currency that could only be spent at their company stores - a practice that existed well into the 20th century.
 
Old December 8th, 2012 #6
M.N. Dalvez
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Quote:
That never stopped mines and mills from issuing their own clacker currency that could only be spent at their company stores - a practice that existed well into the 20th century.
Which was usually used to exploit company workers by paying in scrips, and charging inflated prices for inferior products.
 
Old September 14th, 2013 #7
Anders Hoveland
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Although this law was not actually invoked to prosecute the maker of the Liberty Dollar, it does exist:

18 U.S.C. 486 : US Code - Section 486: Uttering coins of gold, silver or other metal
Whoever, except as authorized by law, makes or utters or passes, or attempts to utter or pass, any coins of gold or silver or other metal, or alloys of metals, intended for use as current money, whether in the resemblance of coins of the United States or of foreign countries, or of original design, shall be fined under this title (...) or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

So, if you are going to trade precious metals, probably a better idea to make sure they are not in coin form. Alternatively, paper notes backed by a specified weight of gold may be more practical.

Although I think this law should be repealed, it can be seen how it could be justified; they do not want people passing around coins that could be mistaken for government money, that could basically be a form of counterfeiting.
 
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