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The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 47, November 18, 2007, Article 11

LIBERTY DOLLAR OFFICES RAIDED BY FBI

On Thursday Tim L. Shuck of Ames, IA forwarded me the
following email sent by Bernard von NotHaus of NORFED,
the organization behind the Liberty Dollar:

 Date: November 15, 2007 9:34:18 AM CST
 Subject: FBI Raids Liberty Dollar – Confiscates All
 Ron Paul Dollar

 Dear Liberty Dollar Supporters:

 I sincerely regret to inform you that about 8:00
 this morning a dozen FBI and Secret Service agents
 raided the Liberty Dollar office in Evansville.

 For approximately six hours they took all the gold,
 all the silver,  all the platinum and almost two tons
 of Ron Paul Dollars that where just delivered last
 Friday. They also took all the files, all the computers
 and froze our bank accounts.

 We have no money. We have no products. We have no
 records to even know what was ordered or what you are
 owed. We have nothing but the will to push forward and
 overcome this massive assault on our liberty and our
 right to have real money as defined by the US Constitution.
 We should not to be defrauded by the fake government money.

 But to make matters worse, all the gold and silver
 that backs up the paper certificates and digital
 currency held in the vault at Sunshine Mint has also
 been confiscated. Even the dies for mint the Gold and
 Silver Libertys have been taken.

 This in spite of the fact that Edmond C. Moy, the
 Director of the Mint, acknowledged in a letter to a US
 Senator that the paper certificates did not violate
 Section 486 and were not illegal. But the FBI and Services
 took all the paper currency too.

 The possibility of such action was the reason the
 Liberty Dollar was designed so that the vast majority
 of the money was in specie form and in the people’s
 hands. Of the $20 million Liberty Dollars, only about
 a million is in paper or digital form.

 I regret that if you are due an order. It may be some
 time until it will be filled... if ever... it now all
 depends on our actions.

 Everyone who has an unfulfilled order or has digital
 or paper currency should band together for a class
 action suit and demand redemption. We cannot allow the
 government to steal our money!  Please don’t let this
 happen!!! Many of you read the articles quoting the
 government and Federal Reserve officials that the Liberty
 Dollar was legal. You did nothing wrong. You are legally
 entitled to your property. Let us use this terrible
 act to band  together and further our goal – to return
 America to a value based currency.

 Please forward this important Alert... so everyone who
 possess or use the Liberty Dollar is aware of the situation.

 Please click HERE to sign up for the class action
 lawsuit and get your property back!

 If the above link does not work you can access the page
 by copying the following into your web browser.
 http://www.libertydollar.org/classaction/index.php

 Thanks again for your support at this darkest time as the
 damn government and their dollar sinks to a new low.

 Bernard von NotHaus
 Monetary Architect

[By Thursday afternoon I still hadn’t seen any confirmation
of the raids on the web others than simple repostings of the
above email.  So I picked up the phone and called Bernard Von
Nothaus direct.  I got him on his mobile phone.  He was on
another call but we spoke briefly.  He confirmed that he'd
sent the email and that the raids had indeed occurred.
-Editor]

Andrew W. Pollock III writes: "It looks like the 'Liberty
dollars' have finally been shut down.  I especially liked
following passage:

 "I am writing this to Liberty Dollar in hopes that
 it can be used to help with support," wrote a fan,
 M. Symonds, of Dallas, Texas, who reported using
 the coinage for $700 expenses on a trip to Austin.

 "My entire trip was funded with The Liberty Dollar.
 It used it everywhere I went. - I am here to tell
 you that the major chains and businesses will accept
 them. Here is a list of some of the places I used
 them: Joe's Fina Mart, Placido, Texas; James Texaco,
 Lolita, Texas; Jack In The Box, Austin, Texas; Chevron,
 Schulenburg, Texas; McDonalds, Port Lavaca, Texas,
 Wal-Mart, Port Lavaca, Texas; Reeds Grocery, Odem, Texas…"

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

[The Washington Post published a front-page article in the raid
Saturday morning. -Editor]

"The ardent supporters of Rep. Ron Paul, the iconoclastic
Texas libertarian whose campaign for the presidency is
threatening to upend the battle for the Republican nomination,
got word yesterday of a new source of outrage and motivation:
reports of a federal raid on a company that was selling
thousands of coins marked with the craggy visage of their hero.

"Federal agents on Thursday raided the Evansville, Ind.,
headquarters of the National Organization for the Repeal
of the Federal Reserve Act and Internal Revenue Code (Norfed),
an organization of 'sound money' advocates that for the past
decade has been selling a private currency it calls 'Liberty
Dollars.' The company says it has put into circulation more
than $20 million in Liberty Dollars, coins and paper certificates
it contends are backed by silver and gold stored in Idaho,
are far more reliable than a U.S. dollar and are accepted for
use by a nationwide underground economy.

"Norfed officials said yesterday that the six-hour raid
occurred just as its six employees were mailing out the
first batch of 60,000 'Ron Paul Dollars,' copper coins sold
for $1 to honor the candidate, who is a longtime advocate
of abolishing the Federal Reserve. The group says it has
shipped out about 10,000 silver Ron Paul Dollars that sold
for $20 and about 3,500 of the copper $1 coins. But it said
the agents seized more than 50,000 of the copper coins --
more than two tons' worth -- plus smaller amounts of the
silver coins and gold and platinum Ron Paul Dollars, which
sell for $1,000 and $2,000.

"'People are pretty upset about this,' said Jim Forsythe,
head of the Paul Meetup group in New Hampshire, who said
he recently ordered 150 of the copper coins. 'The dollar
is going down the tubes, and this is something that can
protect the value of their money, and the Federal Reserve
is threatened by that. It'll definitely fire people up.'

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

[One post siding with the government is found in an unlikely
place - The Liberty Papers blog.  The author has read the
government's case which cites elements of multilevel marketing
(MLM). Below are some excerpts. -Editor]

"Is the Liberty Dollar (ALD) a competing currency? Or is
it a scam designed to fill its creators’ pockets while
suckering us into buying silver at inflated prices? The
best place to understand what is happening is the full
seizure warrant."

"Looking over the full document, I can see where there
might be some standing for a case against the Liberty
Dollar*. I’ve never understood the difference between the
"face value" of their currency and the US Dollar. For
example, they suggest buying the Liberty Dollar $20 piece
at a discount and “spending” it as if it is worth $20,
when the silver inside is not worth $20. The feds refer
to it as a MLM scheme, and through reading their case,
I can see where they may have a point there."

"As a second point, it does appear that in many ways
the Liberty Dollar folks are violating the law against
coining your own currency in metal. I consider it to be
an improper law, and I don’t begrudge them for breaking
it, but it does appear to be illegal."

"Of course, none of this in any way should be understood
as me being a supporter of the Fed’s system**. I believe
strongly in competing market-created currencies."

"It does seem, though, that the Liberty Dollar was created
to secure profit for its creators from the US Dollar,
instead of being a true alternate currency. The “convertability”
and desire that merchants give Liberty Dollars as change,
as well as the “move-up” process described in the Fed’s case
belie a desire by the Liberty Dollar folks to sell silver
in exchange for FRN’s at a consistent profit compared with
the market price, cloaked in the language of undermining
the current system."

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

To read the complete FBI Seizure Warrant, see
Full Story

[In an item of possible interest to numismatic bibliophiles,
the warrant notes that "In each Associate packet, NORFED
sends a book entitled 'The Liberty Dollar Solution to the
Federal Reserve', Edited by Bernard von Nothaus."    Has
anyone ever seen one of these pamphlets?

Another writer says that NORFED's biggest misstep was
in issuing coins rather than the certificates they issued
initially. -Editor]

"The certificates did not look like money, did not represent
itself as money and, thus, could not be construed by the
government as a counterfeit form of money."

"That changed when von Nothaus began the mass coining of
his Libertys rather than printing them—and when he began
to refer to them on his website as "real money" or as
"the second most-popular currency."

"After coming under scrutiny again from the US Treasury
in September, 2006, which presented NORFED with a cease
and desist order, von Nothaus dissolved NORFED as of
January 1, 2007, announcing it would distribute Liberty
Dollars without a political agenda. In March, 2007, von
Nothaus filed a lawsuit against Henry M. Paulson, Secretary
of the Treasury, then US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales,
and Edmond C. Moy, Director of the US Mint asking the
court for a declamatory judgment against the federal
government."

"Von Nothaus pointed out that if the supporters of the
Liberty Dollar don't join the class action lawsuit, they
will not get their money back. The Federal government will
simply keep it as they do with the ill-gotten gains of drug
dealers and other criminals, or white collar criminals charged
with RICO violations. But, it appears to day, that even if
von Nothaus escapes prison, the Liberty Dollars still in
the possession of its adherents will be nothing more than
mementos of a failed movement to restore the United States
to the gold standard."

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

[On Saturday, a web article reported: " 'I anticipate being
arrested on any one or all of these charges,' von NotHaus
said. But he continued. 'I see my arrest and trial as a golden
opportunity to win and return our great country to a value
based currency. ... I believe the Liberty Dollar will win and
become one of the great institutions in America. I have devoted
the past 10 years to the Liberty Dollar and am willing to risk
a few years in federal prison to vindicate it.' "

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

[Tom Michael came to von NotHaus' defense in his Saturday
blog entry.  -Editor]

He writes: "Now we wait. Will the government act? Or will
they just tie up NORFED's business for months, if not years,
while they build a case they most likely will never win?
Bernie has been up front with his dealings. He let's people
know exactly what NORFED is trying to do with their currency.
NORFED was not hiding out in the heartland, they were open
with their business and it got them raided.

"Liberty Mint coins do not claim to be U.S. currency. They
do not directly imitate U.S. coins in an attempt to defraud.
Most of them are not even denominated like U.S. circulating
coins. They do employ symbolic images of freedom...perhaps
because they thought this was a free country.

"Now we will all see just how free our country has become.
We'll see if Bernie gets a speedy trial, or if the Federal
Government drags their feet while holding on to all the
NORFED company assets. We'll see if they intend on filing
charges, or just intimidating Liberty Dollar and NORFED
out of existence."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

[I own a group of NORFED certificates which I purchased
some months ago on eBay.  I bought them as collectible
examples of a modern day currency alternative.  I haven't
bought any of the "coins" yet because I had no interest in
paying the group's markup over spot silver.  But I respect
the rights of those who did wish to purchase them, and also
respect the rights of NORFED to sell and distribute them.

Did von NotHaus make money with his venture?  Sure, but
making a profit is as American as apple pie.  It took a lot
of time, effort, knowledge and investment to design, create,
distribute and sell the "coins" and certificates.  I've seen
no articles indicating that any NORFED follower was forced
to buy and "spend" them at gunpoint, nor have I seen reports
of any follower forcing an establishment to accept them.

I read the government's warrant and don't see a case for
multilevel marketing accusations.   What NORFED had were
rules that allowed them to revalue their "coins" in response
to rises in the underlying spot price of silver.  Yes, this
both protected their investment and led to additional profits.
So what?

The worst one could say is that for a group which derided
the U.S. dollar it sure knew how to make some, but why not?
Unless and until an alternate currency overtakes the dollar
(which the Euro seems to be doing in some circles), the
dollar-denominated world is the one all Americans live in
today, even NOFRED and its supporters.  At best von Nothaus'
Liberty Dollars are just one more numismatic remnant of a
political/economic/artistic movement such as Bryan Money,
Lesher Dollars or J.S.G. Boggs' 'Boggs Bills'.

Just as I've promoted buying numismatic literature from
the publisher I'm also very much a proponent of buying
tomorrow's numismatic collectibles TODAY.  If you collect
things like U.S. pattern coins, Bolen tokens, Lesher Dollars
or Bryan Money then you ought to consider accumulating Liberty
Dollars, Gallery Mint products and the proposed coin design
pieces of people like Ron Landis and Daniel Carr.  I haven't
bought nearly as many as I'd like (yet), but I do have them
in my collection.

Those who bought the NOFED Ron Paul dollars can sit back
and smile now that their price has soared past $300 apiece
on eBay.   They will drop back as more supplies hit the market,
but will probably never return to their original issue price
thanks to the publicity.  I'm sure we haven't heard the last
of von NotHaus and wouldn't be surprise to see new "coins"
emerge with revised slogans.  -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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