While some have argued for the replacement of the U.S. $1 note with a coin, one man decided to take the U.S. government’s monetary policy into his own hands by attempting to single-handedly replace the dollar coin with his very own coin.
The 67-year-old Bernard von NotHaus, creator of the original Liberty Dollar, was convicted on Friday by a federal jury in North Carolina of minting his own $1 coins. “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,” said U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina Anne M. Tompkins the day the verdict was announced. “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.”
Check Out: $1 Should be Eliminated According to the GAO
An investigation into NotHaus’ criminal activities began back in 2005, and revealed that NotHaus founded an organization called the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve and Internal Revenue Code (NORFED), also referred to as Liberty Services. Through NORFED, NotHaus manufactured Liberty coins that incorporated the dollar sign and other marks associated with real U.S. currency. According to the FBI, NORFED’s goal was the circulation of the Liberty Dollar throughout the country and Puerto Rico in order to compete with U.S. currency. It took the Statesville, N.C. jury less than two hours of deliberation to find NotHaus guilty of charges that included issuing, passing, selling and possessing coins resembling his former creation, according to an FBI statement.
As part of his sentence, NotHaus will face up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. NotHaus must also turn over 16,000 pounds of coins and precious metals, valued at $7 million, to the federal government. NotHaus is part of a consortium of thinkers and policymakers that believe the U.S. government’s monetary policy is inherently unconstitutional because it relies on a paper-based rather than reliant on gold or silver standards. For a five minute glimpse into NotHaus’s views on the U.S.’s monetary policy—backed by Congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex)—check out the video below: