Bernard von NotHaus, the 68-year-old creator of the “Liberty Dollars,” awaits his sentence after he was convicted of violating federal counterfeiting laws.
It’s time for Libertarians to pressure the judge to give leniency for this anti-government activist, who is seeking a new trial.
Von NotHaus has delayed his sentence by claiming his elderly mother owns some of the $7 million in precious metals seized in the investigation. For more information, see The case for dismissal against Bernard von NotHaus.
Below is a sample letter written by Dan Goebel, the vice-chairperson of the Livingston Libertarians:
The Honorable Richard L. Voorhees
US District Judge for the Western District of North Carolina
250 Charles R. Jones Federal Building
401 West Trade Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
November 20, 2012
RE: Sentencing of Bernard von NotHaus; US v. von NotHaus
Docket No: 5:09CR27-001
Dear Judge Voorhees,
I understand that a jury has found Mr. NotHaus guilty of producing coins that could be confused with coins stamped out by the U.S. Treasury. However, the coins produced by Mr. NotHaus are far closer to what the Coinage Act of 1798 defines as money than what the U.S. Treasury has been stamping out since 1965. The Coinage Act defines the U.S. Dollar in terms of Gold and Silver. The U.S. Dollar is defined as 371.25 Gains of silver and prior to 1965 when we had an honest system of weights and measures, a Half Dollar was ½ that weight in silver, a Quarter was 1/4th of that weight in silver, and a Dime was 1/10 that weight in silver.
Starting in 1965 the U.S. Treasury began stamping out nickel plated copper coins to replace the silver coins, and U.S. Dollars were replaced with Federal Reserve Notes. The new Federal Reserve Notes were not redeemable for silver and were worth far less than 371.25 Gains of silver yet they were passed off to an unsuspecting public as having the same value. The real value, or melt value of the metal in these coins can be determined on a Spot Price basis at www.coinflation.com
With silver at about $35.00 per ounce today, 1964 and earlier silver coins have a melt value of about 25 times their face value. In other words, if you had $10.00 face value, say 40, 1964 Quarters, the melt value of the silver would be worth about $250.00 in Federal Reserve Notes. From the same website you can find that the melt value of the 1965 and later nickel plated copper coins to be about .20 times, or 1/5 of face value. Thus, the melt value of $10.00 in nickel plated copper coins would be about $2.00 in Federal Reserve Notes. In other words, the silver coins are worth about 125 times what the nickel plated coins are worth.
It would appear that the value of what we call the U.S. Dollar was devalued 125 fold when the U.S. Treasury in collaboration with the Federal Reserve decided to switch nickel plated coins, that look identical to the silver coins, for the silver coins. This, I think, was deliberate fraud, and yet these crooks are too big to prosecute, and are able to go after those who might bring light upon their dirty deeds.
I can see where Mr. NotHaus should not have put a value on his coins as it does lead to some confusion, however he was willing to exchange the coins for the amount of Federal Reserve Notes stamped on them, if not more. I do not believe that Mr. NotHaus was out to defraud anyone. His crime appears to be that of exposing what the Federal Reserve has done to the U.S. Dollar. It is also interesting to note that government confiscation of his gold and silver has caused him to default on his customers. The government has done harm to a thousand times has many people as NotHaus has in this case alone.
I pray you will grant Mr. NotHaus a suspended sentence and let him free. The gold and silver taken from him is far more punishment than he deserves, yet I know it would be nearly impossible for him to get any of that money back.
Thank You for attempting to see the bigger picture and not hanging the messenger.
Livingston County LP Vice Chair