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Thread: Liberty Dollar creator convicted in federal court

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    Re: Liberty Dollar creator convicted in federal court

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    That's a felony. You can't do that. Private currencies are illegal.
    You can yell it from the rooftops until your face turns blue. It is not going to make you correct. What he was doing was completely within the bounds of the law.

    Quote Originally Posted by nonpareil View Post
    When people give me a coin, I don't say: wait, I'll check a website. I take a cursory glance see that it's quite like the one I'm used to and assume it's okay. I won't take the time to notice a phone number or whatever. Maybe I'm niave, but I believe alot of people are like that and these people are preying on people's trust. We trust the government to issue money, the people who make these coins use that fact and issue coins that look very much like those issued by the government. They could have choosen other designs that differentiate their coins from the pfficial mint's (which they claim to desire) but they didn't and I don't think it's a coincident.

    Whatever they "intend" it to mean, it doesn't change that fact that "real money" is understood to mean "legal tender" by most people. I can say when I call a black person a nigger, I intend it to mean as an affectionate term for blacks, it doesn't change the fact that most people sees it as a derogative term. Again, I don't think it was incidential that they choose that term. It was meant to confuse their money with the real "real money".
    You just plain aren't getting it. Perhaps you aren't even paying attention to anything I have said. Anyone who spent all of two seconds looking at both sides of the coin would realize it is not legal tender. I would expect any responsible cashier to actually look at how much a coin is worth before accepting it or handing it to someone, which would require looking at the side that says "Liberty Dollar" and has the phone number and website on it. Anything over a dollar will also be immediately suspect. Size is also an important consideration. I strongly doubt anyone with a modicum of intelligence would think this was a government-issued coin.

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    As noted earlier, I believe the language referring to him as a "domestic terrorist" was a stretch. Having said that, the facts of the case remain the same. Mr. von NotHaus did not merely make commemorative coins. That would have been entirely legal. Instead, he attempted to create an alternative money without Congressional Authority. That violates the law. He was properly convicted. Unless he can somehow demonstrate that Congress had authorized or at least accepted his creating an alternative currency, any appeals he makes will also be unsuccessful. IMO, given the gravity of the situation (an attempt to undermine the U.S. currency) and lack of any indication of remorse to date for his criminal activity, I suspect that the judge will sentence him to serve a substantial portion of the maximum period permitted for the charges on which he was convicted.
    Creating an alternative currency is not against the law. What is against the law is claiming your alternative currency is legal tender and attempting to pass it off as such. I already noted that his talk of real money was specifically a reference to gold and silver and that it is clearly referred to as private voluntary barter currency and stated clearly that it is not legal tender.
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    Re: Liberty Dollar creator convicted in federal court

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon of Light View Post
    You can yell it from the rooftops until your face turns blue. It is not going to make you correct. What he was doing was completely within the bounds of the law.
    Except that it wasn't legal at all, and he was convicted, and is in prison....

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    Re: Liberty Dollar creator convicted in federal court

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon of Light View Post
    What is against the law is claiming your alternative currency is legal tender and attempting to pass it off as such. I already noted that his talk of real money was specifically a reference to gold and silver and that it is clearly referred to as private voluntary barter currency and stated clearly that it is not legal tender.
    That's exactly what he did. His fake currency was promoted as American currency. His website also claimed that his currency was "real money," while the U.S. dollar was not. In other words, not only was he passing off his "money" as an alternative U.S. currency (the fake currency was labeled "USA" and "dollar," when Congress had given him no such authorization), he was also doing so in a fashion that attacked the nation's legal tender currency by demeaning it as not being "real" money. To claim that his fake currency was American currency, and the label "USA" did nothing less, was outright fraud.

    Not surprisingly, the jury convicted him. The case was clear-cut. His appeals will almost certainly fail, and he will likely be sentenced to spend a significant amount of time in prison. Seeking to pass off his fake currency as American money and to attack the legitimacy of the nation's currency in the process should not be taken lightly.
    Last edited by donsutherland1; 03-21-11 at 04:51 PM.

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    Re: Liberty Dollar creator convicted in federal court

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon of Light View Post
    You can yell it from the rooftops until your face turns blue. It is not going to make you correct. What he was doing was completely within the bounds of the law.



    You just plain aren't getting it. Perhaps you aren't even paying attention to anything I have said. Anyone who spent all of two seconds looking at both sides of the coin would realize it is not legal tender. I would expect any responsible cashier to actually look at how much a coin is worth before accepting it or handing it to someone, which would require looking at the side that says "Liberty Dollar" and has the phone number and website on it. Anything over a dollar will also be immediately suspect. Size is also an important consideration. I strongly doubt anyone with a modicum of intelligence would think this was a government-issued coin.



    Creating an alternative currency is not against the law. What is against the law is claiming your alternative currency is legal tender and attempting to pass it off as such. I already noted that his talk of real money was specifically a reference to gold and silver and that it is clearly referred to as private voluntary barter currency and stated clearly that it is not legal tender.


    I've read and understood very well what's you're saying. What you don't seem to understand is that what you believe his intention was is irrelevant, what's relevant is the effect it has on other people. From a cursory glance that coin is made to look like the real one, and you may claim that these people don't have a "modicum of intelligence" but it doesn't change the fact that the similiarity appears to a conscious choice. He made people question the real US dollar, and maybe fell for it as the real "real money", then he very likely committed fraud.
    Quote Originally Posted by Free_Radical View Post

    And I wasn't making an appeal to authority, I was making an appeal to the philosophical body of work of the founders, the worth and content of which should be well-known to anyone with a cursory understanding of basic history and philosophy.

    Brian

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    Re: Liberty Dollar creator convicted in federal court

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    Except that it wasn't legal at all, and he was convicted, and is in prison....
    The State does not have a vested interest in justice when it challenges their grip on society. Being convicted is not proof of anything. On a point of law it is clear that his intent must be to pass off the currency as legal tender. Saying explicitly that your currency is not legal tender and is just a voluntary barter currency clearly indicates that this was not the intent. Anyone looking at the side of the coin with the money amount specified would find clearly distinguishing features that demonstrate it is not government-issued currency. That side of the coin looks nothing like any government coin I can find.
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    Re: Liberty Dollar creator convicted in federal court

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon of Light View Post
    The State does not have a vested interest in justice when it challenges their grip on society. Being convicted is not proof of anything. On a point of law it is clear that his intent must be to pass off the currency as legal tender. Saying explicitly that your currency is not legal tender and is just a voluntary barter currency clearly indicates that this was not the intent. Anyone looking at the side of the coin with the money amount specified would find clearly distinguishing features that demonstrate it is not government-issued currency. That side of the coin looks nothing like any government coin I can find.

    Being convicted proves that the jury found him guilty. The state is not trusted to convict people in such cases, that's why we have jury trails. So the state petitioned the jury to convict him by presenting their case, and the defendent did the same. The jury found the state's case more convincing - as do most people who responded to this thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by Free_Radical View Post

    And I wasn't making an appeal to authority, I was making an appeal to the philosophical body of work of the founders, the worth and content of which should be well-known to anyone with a cursory understanding of basic history and philosophy.

    Brian

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    Re: Liberty Dollar creator convicted in federal court

    The individual labeled his coins "USA." He had no Congressional authorization to do so. Therefore, he had no legal right to pass off his fake currency as American currency. That the overall design of his coins and currency differed from legitimate U.S. coins/currency is not really relevant. The reference to USA or any derivation of United States was deceptive. Furthermore, that he promoted his fake currency in such a fashion to attack the legitimacy of U.S. currency, suggesting that his fake currency was "real money" but legal tender U.S. currency was not, highlighted his malicious intentions.

    Furthermore, using the phrase "American Liberty Dollars" was also deceptive. After all, in 1986, the U.S. issued legitimate Liberty half-dollar and dollar (silver) and Liberty $5 (gold) coins.

    No country can or should stand idly by while criminals attempt to undermine its currency. The U.S. is no exception. The prosecution and conviction were warranted. Given the clear-cut nature of the case, I fully expect that the conviction will be upheld should Mr. von NotHaus launch any appeals.

    Finally, for those who are interested, a photo of the fake coins can be found at: http://www.andrewlowd.com/thesis/norfedcoin.gif

    Note the references to "USA" and "Liberty Dollar."

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    Re: Liberty Dollar creator convicted in federal court

    Quote Originally Posted by nonpareil View Post
    Being convicted proves that the jury found him guilty. The state is not trusted to convict people in such cases, that's why we have jury trails. So the state petitioned the jury to convict him by presenting their case, and the defendent did the same. The jury found the state's case more convincing - as do most people who responded to this thread.
    Anyone who studies U.S. history can tell you that juries are perfectly capable of wrongly finding someone guilty. In this case it seems the prosecutor went out of his way to prejudice the jury against the defendant.

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    The individual labeled his coins "USA." He had no Congressional authorization to do so.
    It's not illegal to put USA on something you produce.

    Therefore, he had no legal right to pass off his fake currency as American currency.
    It is not a fake currency, just not legal tender and he was not trying to pass it off as legal tender thus he was well within rights.

    That the overall design of his coins and currency differed from legitimate U.S. coins/currency is not really relevant.
    "Not really relevant"? It is of the utmost relevance when you are arguing someone's guilty of trying to pass off their alternative currency as legal tender. These coins not only differed, they differed in such a way that anyone could tell it was not government-issued currency. Consider the picture you put up for a moment. Do you think someone seeing "For the Repeal of the Federal Reserve and the Income Tax" is going to presume that coin is government-issued currency?

    Furthermore, using the phrase "American Liberty Dollars" was also deceptive. After all, in 1986, the U.S. issued legitimate Liberty half-dollar and dollar (silver) and Liberty $5 (gold) coins.
    Except those government-issued coins never had the phrase "Liberty Dollars" on them like this.
    "For what is Evil but Good-tortured by its own hunger and thirst?"
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    Re: Liberty Dollar creator convicted in federal court

    I agree with the court decision. We can't have people running around creating counterfeit money. Counterfeiting money is a job that already belongs to the Fed.
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    Re: Liberty Dollar creator convicted in federal court

    Quote Originally Posted by danarhea View Post
    I agree with the court decision. We can't have people running around creating counterfeit money. Counterfeiting money is a job that already belongs to the Fed.
    Well I mean it's not really counterfeiting is it? It wasn't made to be taken for US legal tender, it was made to be a metal backed currency that people could use if they wanted. In theory, I have no problem with it. I think a competing, metal backed currency isn't the worst thing in the world. But as it stands, you can't do it and the government will come after you. They do have the right to print and regulate the value of our currency, and that's well within their proper power to do. I would just also legalize 1 form of metal backed currency to use at people's discretion. You wouldn't be forced to take it, like you are US legal tender. But if people choose to use it and you want to, then I think it's ok.
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