An Indiana man who minted his own silver coins to compete with US currency has been accused of domestic terrorism.
AP has reported that federal prosecutors in the US have asked a court to confiscate a hoard of so-called “Liberty Dollars” worth about $7 million from Bernard von NotHaus, 67, who was convicted last month on conspiracy and counterfeiting charges for making and selling the currency
Authorities have accused the Indiana man of promoting his coins as an inflation-proof hedge against the U.S. dollar.
Von NotHaus’s lawyers have objected, saying their client did not try to pass the Liberty Dollars off as US dollars but had only invented another form of private barter currency.
Federal prosecutors successfully argued that von NotHaus was trying to pass off the silver coins as US currency, as the coins contained a dollar sign, the words “dollar” and “Trust in God,” which is similar to the “In God We Trust” that appears on US coins.
The case involves more than five tons of the coins and other precious metals which the government wants to to be forfeited.
Von NotHaus began issuing Liberty Dollars in 1998.