Anti-Government Group Mints Its Own Coins

anti government groups mints own coins

Submitted by the FBI

Money doesn’t grow on trees. It also can’t be printed or minted by private citizens—as four co-conspirators in North Carolina and Indiana recently learned the hard way.

Last month, the founder and “monetary architect” of an illegal currency known as the Liberty Dollar was convicted in North Carolina on federal charges of making illegal coins and selling them—at a profit—to compete with legal U.S. currency. Bernard von NotHaus, of Evansville, Indiana, was found guilty of making coins resembling U.S. coins; issuing, passing, selling, and possessing Liberty Dollar coins; issuing and passing Liberty Dollar coins intended for use as current money; and conspiring against the United States. Three others indicted in the case are awaiting their own trials.

“People understand that there is only one legal currency in the United States,” said Owen Harris, then-special agent in charge of our office in Charlotte. “When groups try to replace it with coins and bills that don’t hold the same value, it affects the economy. And consumers were using their hard-earned money to buy goods and services, then getting fake goods in return.”

It all began in 2004, when our Charlotte Division learned that a customer at a North Carolina financial institution had tried to use silver coins that were not legal U.S. currency. Our investigation revealed that the coins came from the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve and Internal Revenue Codes (or NORFED), headquartered in Evansville, whose mission was to return the country’s monetary system to gold and silver. The president of the organization was Bernard von NotHaus, who marketed his currency as inflation-proof, claimed it was backed by silver and gold, and said it could be used to compete with—and limit reliance on—U.S. currency.

Our investigation, which included an undercover scenario, revealed that NORFED contracted for the minting of about $7 million worth of Liberty Dollars in Idaho. The organization also took orders and payments from customers for Liberty Dollars and organized “Liberty Dollar University” sessions to help educate people interested in selling, buying, or using the currency. There was even a Liberty Dollar website.

NORFED used several groups of people to get its illegal coins into circulation:

  • Regional currency officers marketed Liberty Dollars in their geographic areas.
  • Liberty Dollar associates paid a $250 membership fee and received 100 Liberty Dollars, plus instructions on how to market the currency.
  • Recruited merchants and business owners accepted Liberty Dollars in exchange for goods or services and handed out the coins as change.

During the course of the investigation, the U.S. Mint issued a press release warning that the Liberty Dollar was not legal tender and that the Department of Justice had determined that the use of these coins as circulating money was a federal crime. This press release was sent to known NORFED regional currency officers. Despite the warning, though, NORFED and its officers, members, and associates continued to break the law and circulate the illegal tender.

As with many of our other cases, we didn’t work this investigation alone. Providing tremendous assistance was the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Treasury’s Office of Inspector General for Tax Administration, North Carolina Joint Terrorism Task Force, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and U.S. Mint.

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  • Chris April 5, 2011 at 11:33 am

    I am sure people that got a liberty dollar rather than a regular dollar would extremely agitated to find the value of the coin was far in excess of the regular dollar. Why the fear, why the sledgehammer to crack a nut … could it be because the is a growing swell of people realising that monopoly fiat currency is not worth the paper that it is (not even) printed on?

    This man should be pardoned immediately and in a free society (it is that still isn’t it?) if people choose to use the liberty dollar, it is that liberty to do that. “I praise liberty. The freedom to obey, is the song that strangles me … so don’t cross the line”.

  • Not Asleep April 5, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Slightly biased. NotHaus is not a criminal and has done nothing illegal. I also don’t understand the leading ‘anti-government’ title of this article. What does the Federal Reserve have to do with the government? It’s a private bank, and that is who the fight was with.

    It’s perfectly legal to mint gold and silver. Counterfeiting is trying to pass off those minted coins as US dollars, but NotHaus wasn’t doing that. If you want a real story about fraudulent currency, try looking into the worthless and unconstitutional paper the Federal Reserve is printing.

  • notasheep April 5, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    I do not understand why there is a problem either? it seems lately the government is just doing massive beta tests to see what they can get away with and how quick. I find it strange this happened after Alex Jones had Jesse Ventura as a guest and on the same show, he discussed the LEGALITY of using alternative STATE currencies. Overall I don’t know if the FED is right within the red tape here. But I do know if this benefitted the government there would be ammendments to cut that red tape in there favor. How much more money can the people that have none give to pay a fake debt? We all have to live on the same planet.. Dosn’t it SEEM to be getting smaller with big brother? I’m in my twenties and want to be happy not political, this is getting scary.

  • Jaspen April 5, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    These article completely misrepresents the truth. IT IS ONE GUY AND HE IS NOT ANTI AMERICAN, HE JUST LIKE MILLIONS OF OTHER AMERICANS ARE TIRED OF THE NAZI SOCIALIST REGIME! It is time to end the FED and give America BACK to Americans! THIS GUY IS A HERO! SET HIM FREE!

  • Chris April 6, 2011 at 2:25 am

    Total BS, It’s getting to a point where nobody gives a hoot what the idiots in Washington think. They have next to no credibility with the American people and they take one step closer to the KGB every day. It’s a good thing Americans as a whole stand up for the rights and are starting to realize what morons these “public servants” are in Washington. It’s just too bad the jury as a bunch of American idol watching tards drooling on their baby aprons between recesses.

    PS, Deconstruct his argument, the truth is the exact opposite of what Owen Harris is saying 🙁 Silver isn’t fake it’s very real and worth more than the stated ceremonial amount on the coin.

  • lame April 6, 2011 at 6:18 am

    Funny that all these comments are written by the same whacko.

  • Whacko April 6, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    I’m curious why someone who knows that gold and silver are worth more than an American dollar are considered a whacko?

    When gold and silver values are rising, and the value of the dollar is crashing, someone who wants gold is a whacko?

    “By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, journalism keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community.” – Oscar Wilde

  • Dave Gillie April 6, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    QUOTE; the judge threw out the part of the indictment that claimed “it is a violation of law for private coin systems to compete with the official coinage of the United States.” becaue THERE IS NO SUCH LAW.

    YET, the FBI is still giving out FALSE FRAUD info regarding this case,

    THE crime Liberty Dollar was convicted of was being TOO SIMILAR to US COINS, NOT of being “private monney”. (and interestingly, the Liberty Dollar looks nothing like a US ten or twenty dollar that it was convicted of “looking like”)

  • Karen April 8, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Bernard Von NotHaus did not do anything wrong. This statement is hilarios: When groups try to replace it with coins and bills that don’t hold the same value, it affects the economy. ” What value is the dollar which loses value time the Federal Reserve Bank counterfeits more dollars out of thin air?

    The FBI agent thinks he his helping America, but he or she needs to get a clue. Hard working Americans in the phony dollar system, are being stolen from every day. The FBI should defend Americans.

    The current US quarters are actually made of copper, coated with a tiny amount of silver. The Fed is counterfeiting. The FBI should arrest the Fed.

  • Jamie April 12, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    So no one can print funny money, except for the government. Got it.

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