Millions of dollars' worth of silver, gold, platinum and copper Liberty Dollar medallions and related property
seized by federal authorities in 2007 will be returned to their
owners, according to court documents.
The return of that property, however, is being delayed until all
petitions filed seeking return of the property have been completely
processed and any appeals finalized.
In documents filed Aug. 14 in U.S. District Court for
the Western District of North Carolina in Statesville by Acting U.S.
Attorney Jill Westemoreland Rose, 265 of the 302 petitions filed for
the return of property were approved.
The court documents indicate the government is willing to settle 27
petitions in part. Seven petitions have been denied, four are in
question and one petition is to be refiled.
The approved petitions also include paid-for but unfulfilled orders
for Liberty Dollars.
Despite the 2011 conviction of Liberty Dollar creator Bernard von NotHaus on charges related to the
manufacture and distribution of Liberty Dollars, U.S. District Court
Judge Richard L. Voorhees ruled in late 2014 that seized property not
deemed as contraband should be returned pursuant to ownership claims.
Von NotHaus, who faced 22 years in prison for his 2011 conviction,
was sentenced Dec. 2, 2014, by Judge Voorhees to three years of
probation and six months under house arrest.
Von NotHaus introduced the Liberty Dollar in 1998, marketing the
pieces using NORFED, the National Organization for the Repeal
of the Federal Reserve and the Internal Revenue Code. The organization
touted Liberty Dollars as an alternative to Federal Reserve notes, and
sought to develop a network of merchants that would accept them in
lieu of Federal Reserve notes.
Liberty Dollars are minted metal rounds, gold and silver
certificates and electronic currency. The rounds or medallions were
issued in silver, gold, platinum and copper, bearing different obverse
and reverse designs and face values. A 2006 suit filed against the
government by von NotHaus asked that the court declare Liberty Dollars
as a "private voluntary barter currency."
NORFED continued until December 2006 when the entity was dissolved.
It re-emerged as Liberty Services, doing business as Liberty Dollar.
Millions of dollars in Liberty Services Inc. assets and those held
for Liberty Services customers were seized in November 2007 by federal authorities.
Most of that physical metal was seized from the premises of Sunshine Minting, the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho,
concern that minted the Liberty Dollars seized.
Von NotHaus and three associates were indicted in May 2009 on
charges associated with the Liberty Dollar production, sale and distribution.
Von NotHaus was convicted March 18, 2011, in federal court in
Statesville, N.C., on charges 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
Proponents of the Liberty Dollar argue that the Liberty Dollar is
not legal tender and has not been promoted as current money.
Meanwhile, since the seizure, prices for many Liberty Dollar issues,
especially those with limited mintages, continue to rise in the
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