Liberty Dollars Seized by FBI Agents

Posted on November 21, 2007 by


Ron Paul Silver Liberty Dollar

Feds grab over 50,000 collectible “Ron Paul Dollars” in raid

November 21, 2007 – Last week federal agents invaded the headquarters of Norfed, manufacturer of collectible “Liberty Dollars,” and confiscated all of the company’s precious metals, computers, and documents. FBI officials in charge of an investigation have refused to publicly discuss the raid that has effectively shut down the “National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve Act and the Internal Revenue Code.”

Norfed manufactures collector currency, “Liberty Dollars,” which contain precious metals such as gold and silver. On their website, Norfed offers instructions on how to use the silver medallions in everyday transactions as a “private voluntary barter currency.” About a year ago, the U.S. Mint issued an internet “warning” about Norfed’s “Liberty Dollars,” indicating that prosecutors within the Department of Justice had determined the minting of gold and silver “Liberty Dollars” to be a federal crime because the medallions “are specifically intended to be used as current money in order to limit reliance on, and to compete with the circulating coinage of the U.S.” and thus violates United States Code Title 18, Section 486, which prohibits privately “uttered” gold or silver currency.

The FBI’s primary raid took place at 8 am on Wednesday, November 14th at Norfed’s headquarters at 225 N. Stockwell Road, in an Evansville, Indiana, strip mall. There was no official announcement of the FBI’s armed robbery, but news spread over internet channels when Bernard von NotHaus, “monetary architect,” sent out a dire notice alerting Liberty Dollar holders of the calamity. “For approximately six hours they took all the gold, all the silver, all the platinum and almost two tons of Ron Paul Dollars that were just delivered last Friday. They also took all the files, all the computers and froze our bank accounts.” The raid in Indiana turned out to be only one of the armed robberies by federal agents that day: “… to make matters worse, all the gold and silver that backs up the paper certificates and digital currency held at the vault at Sunshine Mint [in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho] has also been confiscated. Even the dies for mint of the gold and silver Liberty have been taken.”

FBI agent Andrew Romagnuolo appears to be leading the investigation against Norfed’s minting of hard currency. The Washington Post’s Alec MacGillis reported (11/17/07) on the curious timing of the government’s surprise assault:

Norfed officials said yesterday that the six-hour raid occurred just as its six employees were mailing out the first batch of 60,000 “Ron Paul Dollars,” copper coins sold for $1 to honor the candidate, who is a longtime advocate of abolishing the Federal Reserve. The group says it has shipped out about 10,000 silver Ron Paul Dollars that sold for $20 and about 3,500 of the copper $1 coins. But it said the agents seized more than 50,000 of the copper coins — more than two tons’ worth — plus smaller amounts of the silver coins and gold and platinum Ron Paul Dollars, which sell for $1,000 and $2,000. …

A Paul campaign spokeswoman said yesterday that the campaign has “no affiliation” with the Ron Paul Dollars. But Paul’s supporters said the seizure of the coins is sure to further stoke support for the campaign.

“People are pretty upset about this,” said Jim Forsythe, head of the Paul Meetup group in New Hampshire, who said he recently ordered 150 of the copper coins. “The dollar is going down the tubes, and this is something that can protect the value of their money, and the Federal Reserve is threatened by that. It’ll definitely fire people up. …”

The Indianapolis bureau of the FBI referred calls to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina in Charlotte. That office’s spokeswoman, Suellen Pierce, declined to comment. But bloggers at the libertarian Reason Foundation posted online a 35-page copy of the affidavit for a search warrant filed last week in Asheville, N.C., laying out the government’s case against Norfed. Pierce said the search warrant had been accidentally made public and has since been sealed.

In the affidavit, an FBI special agent states that he is investigating Norfed for federal violations including “uttering coins of gold, silver, or other metal,” “making or possessing likeness of coins,” mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy. “The goal of Norfed is to undermine the United States government’s financial systems by the issuance of a non-governmental competing currency for the purpose of repealing the Federal Reserve and Internal Revenue Code,” he states.

Since Norfed formed in 1998, they have marketed silver medallion “Liberty Dollars” as a means to protect an investor against the declining value of the legal paper currency now used, the Federal Reserve Note. They also advertise that independent businesses around the country accept payment for goods and services with these silver and gold medallions.

Mr. Von NotHaus called on customers who have not received their orders, along with holders of gold-backed paper Liberty currency, to sign up for a forthcoming lawsuit against the U.S. government for return of the stolen property.