UPDATE: While there is some speculation that the e-mail in question may have been bogus, I’ve tried to call the company and received no response from a live person. Additionally, the local media has published an article about the raid, which includes the following confirmation:
FBI Agent Wendy Osborne, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Indianapolis office, directed all questions on the raid to the Western District of North Carolina U.S. Attorney’s Office. A spokeswoman there said she had no information on the investigation.
UPDATE II: Brian Doherty has confirmed a bit more over at Hit and Run:
Thanks to reasoner Jeff Taylor, I’ve seen a copy of a Nov. 9 seizure warrant on an Asheville, NC, address, not available online, claiming that Liberty Dollars at that address are forefeitable for being connected with money laundering and mail fraud. I have not read the entire 38 page warrant, nor am I 100 percent certain it is connected with the actions in Evansville today, but given that the Indianapolis FBI referred me to the U.S. Attorney in North Carolina, probably so, and that multiple raids were planned or executed re: the liberty dollar.
The warrant explains that the FBI from Aug 2005 to July 2007 were “conducting undercover operations to determine the legality of the American Liberty Dollar currency.” The warrant also notes that von NotHaus sold an undercover agent a Liberty Dollar T-shirt, and that the agent observed von NotHaus driving a 1999 Cadillac Deville. It doesn’t take a trained federal agent to connect the dots here, I suppose. In other words: What-th-what-th-What?
It’s just hitting the blogs that Liberty Dollar was just raided and all of their assets were seized. From the e-mail Bernard von NotHaus distributed this morning:
I sincerely regret to inform you that about 8:00 this morning a dozen FBI and Secret Service agents raided the Liberty Dollar office in Evansville.
For approximately six hours they took all the gold, all the silver, all the platinum and almost two tons of Ron Paul Dollars that where just delivered last Friday. They also took all the files, all the computers and froze our bank accounts.
We have no money. We have no products. We have no records to even know what was ordered or what you are owed. We have nothing but the will to push forward and overcome this massive assault on our liberty and our right to have real money as defined by the US Constitution. We should not to be defrauded by the fake government money.
But to make matters worse, all the gold and silver that backs up the paper certificates and digital currency held in the vault at Sunshine Mint has also been confiscated. Even the dies for mint the Gold and Silver Libertys have been taken.
Mark Nestman wrote:
Liberty Dollars are produced by the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve Act and the Internal Revenue Code (NORFED). Led by economist Bernard Nothaus, NORFED has long been a thorn in the side of the federal government.
And now, the feds are getting their revenge.
There is little question that the production, sale, and possession of Liberty Dollars are legal. Indeed, in 1999, the Treasury Department’s legal team reviewed the Liberty Dollar. Claudia Dickens, spokeswoman for the U.S. Treasury Department’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing, said:
“There’s nothing illegal about this. As long as it doesn’t say legal tender there’s nothing wrong with it.”
That, apparently, is the rub. “Legal tender,” in essence, means that a particular form of money must be accepted for all debts.
NORFED has never claimed that Liberty Dollars are legal tender. However, in recent years, the company built up a network of “Liberty merchants” who accept Liberty Dollars in exchange for goods and services. And since the U.S. Department of Justice says that federal legal tender laws prohibit the use of privately circulated gold or silver coins intended for use as money, that may have been what led to today’s raid on NORFED.
Since the dollar can’t compete with other currencies and commodities, the government is apparently shutting down it’s competition. Will the government next go after UPS for competing with the Postal Service? One wonders if this action was aimed at the Ron Paul campaign, too.
Over at Ron Paul HQ, I’m sure communication director Jesse Benton’s phone is ringing off the hook. It will truly prove interesting to see what Dr. Paul has to say about the issue.