The Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc. filed a 41-page amicus curiae brief supporting the appeal of Liberty Dollar founder Bernard von NotHaus on May 31 in the Western District of North Carolina federal court in Statesville, N.C.
Amicus curiae or “friend of the court” briefs are filed by persons who are not a party to a case but volunteer information to help the court decide the issue before it.
A jury took less than 90 minutes to find von NotHaus guilty on all counts involving counterfeiting, possessing, and selling his own coins, with intent to defraud related to his issuance of Liberty Dollars. The verdict was rendered on March 18.
The trial was originally expected to last five weeks, but was over in just nine days. It was the first trial involving counterfeit coins in more than 50 years.
Von NotHaus defended his actions, arguing that his Liberty Dollars are not coins and were never marketed as coins.
On March 31 attorneys for von NotHaus appealed the conviction.
A representative for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, N.C., stated on April 12 that the copper, gold, silver and platinum Liberty Dollars and paper warehouse receipts formerly backed by silver are legal to collect as long as they are not represented as current U.S. money.
The brief notes that GATA was organized in January 1999 to “educate, advocate, and litigate against illegal collusion to control the price and supply of gold and silver, and to protect the civil and constitutional rights of Americans in monetary matters.”
The group has followed the efforts by von NotHaus to develop a private currency and has issued more than 30 “Daily Dispatches” regarding von NotHaus’ Liberty Dollar and the government’s prosecution of von NotHaus.
A May 26 “Daily Dispatch” by GATA stated: “The government’s trial strategy appeared designed to confuse the Liberty Dollar operation with counterfeiting, and it raised a serious constitutional question. That is, while the Constitution grants Congress the power to coin money, is that power exclusive?” GATA requested to file the brief on May 18 and the request to file a brief addressing the issue of constitutional money was granted the next day. ■