Case for Dismissal of the Conviction of Gold Dealer Bernard von NotHaus
by Robert Wenzel: Wild
Weekend in NYC for LBJ's Great Grandkids
a tense time for Bernard von NotHaus. The 67-year-old is waiting
to be sentenced for his conviction relating to his selling of what
he calls Liberty Dollars.
He says that
he had generated revenue of approximately $65 million from the gold
and silver coins he sold over the years. In total, von NotHaus estimates
there are around 2 million pieces of various size Liberty Dollars
out in public. During an interview with him, he proudly told me
that he has no unhappy customers since gold continues to climb in
price, while the U.S. dollar continues to sink in value.
could result in anywhere from probation to 15 years. The betting
is he will get 3 to 5. That is if the judge in the case does not
make history and dismiss the case. It is very much a long shot,
but the case could be dismissed.
Brief was filed by the Gold
Anti-Trust Committee and was then joined by major league Washington
D.C. lawyers at William
J. Olson PC, who believe strongly that the case should be dismissed.
are fascinating reading and quote the writing of such scholars as
Robert Higgs, William Anderson and Murray Rothbard, in defense of
the argument that the case against von NotHaus should be dismissed.
The briefs make the correct argument that the Constitution does
not limit an individual citizen from coining gold and silver. And
as for the counterfeiting charges, von NotHaus has a letter from
the chief counsel of the U.S. Secret Service stating that what von
NotHaus was doing was not counterfeiting.
There is no
time period during which United States District Court Judge Richard
Voorhees has to rule on the motion to dismiss. Von NotHaus tells
me that in one North Carolina case the Judge took 10 years to rule.
von NotHaus' fate is determined, it will be completion of a circle,
in a way, for him. Von NotHaus tells me that he first became interested
in gold in the early 1970's when he began reading about gold while
living a survivalist lifestyle on the islands of Hawaii. He says
it was the book How
You Can Profit From the Coming Devaluation by Harry Browne
that finally convinced him about the value of gold and silver. When
Browne first wrote his book, gold sold for $35.00 an ounce and was
illegal for Americans to own, and silver was selling for approximately
$1.30 an ounce. The anti-gold fetish of government was beat back
somewhat by President Gerald Ford who signed
the legislation that made it legal to own gold again.
Now a judge
may dismiss the case against von NotHaus, which would in a way continue
the advancement of gold freedom for Americans started by Ford. Or,
von NotHaus will be sentenced, which will likely mean the return
to the isolation of the survivalist for him, but this time with
cement walls and prison bars courtesy of the United States government---all
because of his attempts to provide Americans with gold and silver
in any damn shape or form they want. To call it what they want,
and exchange it for whatever purpose they choose.
It is now in
the hands of Judge Voorhees to take an historic step in advancing
the rights of gold holders, or sentence von NotHaus and send a chilling
signal to all Americans that as U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins said
following the conviction that what von NotHaus did was "a unique
form of domestic terrorism." She bizarrely continued, We
are determined to meet these threats through infiltration, disruption
and dismantling of organizations which seek to challenge the legitimacy
of our democratic form of government. And, it would most certainly
energize the governments attempts to
seize the millions of Liberty Dollars held by the general public.
Clearly, dismissal is called for.
GATA amicus brief is here.
amicus brief is here.
The DOJ response
GATA/Olson amicus brief is here.
with permission from Economic
Economic Policy Journal
Best of Robert Wenzel