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+ - Man Convicted of Issuing Competing Currency-> 15

Submitted by roman_mir
roman_mir (125474) writes "This FBI file is about a North Carolina man, who is convicted of minting silver coins, which compete with the currency issued by the US Mint.

The 67 year old is is facing 15 years of prison time and $250,000 fine as well as confiscation of $7,000,000 worth of silver and silver coins.

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.

Von NotHaus designed the Liberty Dollar currency in 1998 and the Liberty coins were marked with the dollar sign ($); the words dollar, USA, Liberty, Trust in God (instead of In God We Trust); and other features associated with legitimate U.S. coinage.

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.”

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.

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

Of-course the value of the US dollar under the US government has been in steady decline ever since the creation of the Federal reserve bank. Here is some data on how much value US dollar lost only in the last 25 years.

US Mint does not like competition, so it would be interesting to see its take on JP Morgan announcing that they are accepting physical gold as collateral with its counterparties."

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Man Convicted of Issuing Competing Currency

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  • So, man convicted of making counterfeit money?

    • He was convicted of "conspiring against United States". It scares a hell out of me, even though I'm not US resident. "Conspiring against XYZ" was common in old soviet system countries and many other regimes. Government beurocrats can label anything they want as "conspiring against United States". Potentially for any critique of government/corporate corruption a person can be labeled as this crap.
      • You know... to get the Godwin out of the way.

        "Conspiring against XYZ" was common in old soviet system countries and many other regimes. Government beurocrats can label anything they want as "conspiring against United States". Potentially for any critique of government/corporate corruption a person can be labeled as this crap.

        You are using conspiracy as if it is some magical, dark and sinister label that supposed "enemies of the state" get marked with in order to "get rid of them".
        Like "terrorist", "communist" or "sex offender".

        It's not! It simply means that more than one person got together and planed to break a law. [wikipedia.org]

        And just like with any other crime - it has to be proven in court that they actually did plan to commit the crime.
        Which was no problem here - he was after all sitting on

        • by roman_mir (125474)

          I won't copy / paste my comment here, but here is the link [slashdot.org], it has links to the images of the coins in question.

          There is no way they can be confused for official US coins.

          The guy went out of his way to make sure these coins are not confused with official US coins.

          As to 'dollar', etc. This is not a word that USA owns. There are MANY dollar coins around the world, that are not US dollars, I hope you knew that.

          As to the word US on them - excuse me. The guy is from US. What should he put on it? The Moon?

          • Look it up. It is right above yours. Mine also has both sides of the coin.

            And here is an image of REAL Peace Dollar with Liberty written all over it:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_Dollar [wikipedia.org]

            And there are DOZENS of actual US dollars already out there with highly similar design [google.com] to his. [atlcoin.com]
            If he was so altruistic and all that - why didn't he put a hot dog and a can of beer on his and call them "Do-Lars"?
            After all... they would still be "backed by actual value of the metal" if it didn't say USA or God on them.

            There is no way they can be confused for official US coins.

            The guy went out of his way to make sure these coins are not confused with official US coins.

            They

            • by roman_mir (125474)

              So again, is this a copyright problem for you? Why can't a guy mint coins that look SIMILAR to some other coins from near 100 years ago? Those coins from 100 years ago were also silver, and they had $1 face value. That was real money, unlike what the counterfeit US federal reserve notes are today.

              As to 'replacing US currency' - good for him. Somebody should be doing it anyway.

  • I wonder whether BitCoin can be interpreted as an "attempt to undermine the legitimate currency".
    • by BagOBones (574735)

      What about other virtual currency? Such as that used by Facebook, EVE on-line, or other virtual worlds, some of which have exchange rates back to real currency.

      • by hvm2hvm (1208954)
        I think the problem was the fact that his currency resembles US currency. If he would have made it clear it's not a US dollar it might have had a chance to go unpunished.
        • by roman_mir (125474)

          Are you saying this is a copyright violation of some sort?

          Because that's not what the AG is implying. The AG is saying that this is TERRORISM.

          • by hvm2hvm (1208954)
            When did I say anything about copyright? I think it's correctly regarded as a very serious act. It's basically counterfeiting money (even if it does have real value because of the silver).
            • by roman_mir (125474)

              But it's not counterfeiting, the coins in question are not minted by US Mint, so Liberty Dollars do not pretend to be created by US Mint or Fed, they are offered as a real dollar (because many people regard US dollar is counterfeit by design. It's a pyramid, and if you look at the drop of value of US dollar since 1913, you'll see it's over 98%).

              So this is not counterfeiting, it looks like a coin, it's silver, it has '$' on it, so do many other currencies from around the world.

              When you draw a picture of a pa

            • by roman_mir (125474)

              Link to my comment with links to images of Liberty Dollars. [slashdot.org]

              They do not look like US dollars. They cannot be confused for US dollar.

              If you confuse this coin for US dollar and take it for the face value, you just made money.

  • If "attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism", then our own government is the most guilty.

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