Precious Metals

Liberty Dollar founder faces December 2 sentencing

Liberty Dollar founder Bernard von NotHaus, convicted in federal court on March 18, 2011, faces more than 20 years in federal prison when sentenced Dec. 2. Shown is a silver 2005 Liberty Dollar.

Liberty Dollar images courtesy of Ron Goodger /

Bernard von NotHaus, creator of the Liberty Dollar private voluntary barter currency, faces sentencing Dec. 2 in federal court in Statesville, N.C., three and a half years after being convicted on charges the Liberty Dollar violates federal counterfeiting statutes.

Von NotHaus faces more than than 20 years in prison when he appears for sentencing before U.S. District Court Judge Richard L. Voorhees. On Nov. 10, Judge Voorhees rejected von NotHaus's appeal to have the conviction set aside.

On March 18, 2011, 10 days after von NotHaus's trial began, a nine-man, three-woman jury took 90 minutes to convict von NotHaus "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, the self-described "monetary architect" behind the Liberty Dollar, founded the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve Act, or NORFED, to create and circulate the Liberty Dollar. NORFED produced its first Liberty Dollars in 1998. 

Von NotHaus dissolved NORFED as an entity in December 2006 and renamed the business Liberty Services.

Liberty Dollars were typically manufactured as .999 fine silver rounds (though some were struck in copper and others in gold) and as paper certificates in denominations of $1, $5, $10 and $20. The paper Liberty Dollars were backed by silver, and the silver rounds were minted by the private Sunshine Mint in Idaho.

According to von NotHaus, Liberty Dollars were made to circulate as "private voluntary barter currency" and were never intended to be mistaken for United States legal tender. However, the federal government, acting on a complaint, saw things differently, seizing Liberty Service assets in 2007, which included millions of dollars in Liberty Dollars owned by von NotHaus's customers.

The federal charges against von NotHaus were brought in 2009.

Check out other recent precious metals coverage: 

Valcambi Suisse provides argument for palladium investment interest over platinum

U.S. Mint plans resumption of sales Nov. 17 for American Eagle silver bullion coins

More from

Collector finds 1969-S DDO Lincoln cent after searching through 12,000 cents in rolls

Inventory of silver 1-ounce American Eagle bullion coins at United States Mint depleted

Specialists identify counterfeit 1900-O/CC Morgan dollar with links to Micro O fakes

Seventh 76-mm silver Benjamin Harrison Indian Peace medal a yard sale discovery

What you need to know before collecting 'classic' U.S. coins

Keep up with all news, insights and blogs by signing up for our free eNewslettersliking us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter. We're also on Instagram!

Community Comments