It might be advisable for Glen Bradley to look to the western part of the state to see how the federal authorities feel about people going off and making their own money.
They’re really not keen on it, to put it mildly.
It’s nothing short of a federal crime for anyone but Congress to authorize the minting of money as an Indiana man found out last week when a federal jury in Statesville, N.C. convicted him of making “Liberty Dollars” that were used as tender in and around the Asheville area.
Bradley, for those who need a refresher, is a Franklin County GOP state representative that wants North Carolina to eschew the Federal Reserve and begin making its own money. His bill would create a committee to the study this issue, but has attracted no co-sponsors and seems destined for to die in committee. Bradley’s getting a steady stream of attention for it, and is supposed to appear at 4 p.m. today on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto show to talk about it.
But back to the criminal case in Western North Carolina.
Bernard von NotHaus, 67, was convicted Friday at in a federal courtroom in Statesville of making, possessing, and selling $7 million worth of his own coins, according to a news release from the FBI in Charlotte. He could be imprisoned up to 25 years and federal prosecutors are now seeking the forfeiture of 16,000 pounds of Liberty Dollar coins and precious metals that were used by the group (worth an estimated $7 million).
NotHaus was the founder of a group called the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve and Internal Revenue Code (NORFED) that was trying to undermine the federal monetary system by minting “Liberty Dollars,” some of which were emblazoned with the Ron Paul’s profile.
The Asheville Citizen Times reports that an Asheville man, William Kevin Innes, was the North Carolina regional currency office of NotHaus’ group and is accused of convincing 70 businesses in the Asheville area to accept the Liberty Dollar. Federal criminal charges against Innes are still pending.
In a side note, NotHaus has apparently moved onto other activist pastures and is now a “high priest” of the Free Marijuana Church of Honolulu, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center which tracks extremist and hate groups in the country. At the Marijuana Church, members step into a “High Room” for one toke of marijuana, and then retire to a meditation room “in serene bliss.” NotHaus, according to SPLC, was working on a book in 2009 about people’s positive drug use stories. The working title: “One Toke to God — Two Tokes to Party.”
You just can’t make this stuff up.