March 8, 2011 –
Trial Day 1
Today began with
a motion for continuance presented by the defense. On Thursday of last week the prosecution gave
the defense typed transcripts of audio tapes they had provided to them in
discovery previously. The motion was
denied based on the fact that the defense had the audio tapes for nearly a year
regardless of whether they had the transcripts.
What was brought
up however is the fact that the prosecution served on the defense over 1.5
million pieces of discovery. The
prosecuting attorney admitted in open court some of the discovery was for cases
other than the case against the defendant.
Now that appears
to me to be “Abuse of Process” but the defense council seemed to feel that the
prosecution was erring on the side of caution.
Really, over 1,500,000 pieces of discovery which would take an estimated
14 years to review. Unfair tactics to
say the least.
After the motion
the jurors were brought into the court room and sat in the pews behind the
audience. 55 in total some had come from
more than 50 miles away. 16 were called forward
and sat in the jury box while the prosecution presented them mostly with the
Do you work
outside the home?
Are you married?
Does your spouse
work outside the home?
Do you have any
Have you or any
family member been charged with a crime?
Each juror was
given the opportunity to explain any circumstances they felt might cause them
to be impartial or cause them undue hardship with the trial lasting perhaps a
month. Some raised excuses but for the
most part they seemed content to be there and my impression was they took this
seriously, and knew it was their duty as Americans. The prosecution dismissed two jurors, and
they were replaced from the pool.
prosecution was satisfied with the selection the defense began it’s
questioning. Defense council, Randal
Lee, explained to the 16 candidates that this would be a case about the 1st
amendment and Bernard’s right to express his political views by using money as
a vehicle. Congressman
might testify, did anyone have any issue with his political views? And that it
would be a case about the 2nd amendment. Then he asked if anyone in the box had any objections
with the 2nd amendment or with people keeping hand guns in their
home. Not one of the sixteen jurors raised
their hand. Nice, our constitution truly
at work! I feel safer here already.
There was a bit
of back and forth but in the end the jury that seated was a win for the
defense. It was what they had wanted, predominately
middle age white conservative males and all supporters of the second amendment. The jury was empanelled and then the
Prosecution gave their opening statement.
Co Council for the Prosecution, Craig Randall, gave the
He explained to the jury they would present an Expert
Witness who will testify to how many points the Liberty Dollar has on it that
resembles United States Currency.
Including the $ sign, the same denominations, the letters USA, the Statute
of Liberty, Torch, and the words Trust in God.
They would present a Special Agent who went undercover
and became a Liberty Dollar Associate working with Kevin Innes.
He focused the jury on the issue of intent, which in my
opinion is a benefit to the defense. The
prosecution will have to prove that it was Bernard’s intent to
counterfeit or pass counterfeit currency.
That will be very difficult because it was not the intent of Liberty
Dollar, and their marketing efforts reflect that beyond a reasonable doubt.
Their case against Bernard is that he trained the
associates to give the Liberty Dollars as change for US notes. That Title 18 – 486 makes it illegal to use
even an originally designed coin as current money.
He reiterated the Judges opening jury instruction that
the Jury had to follow the law regardless of whether they felt the law was
right or wrong. Their job was to
determine the facts and apply the law to them as it was given to them. By repeating this issue the prosecution in
the jury’s eyes may look like they are trying to enforce a law that is
bad. It was repeated several times, “You
must apply the law to the facts whether you agree with the law or not”. This is not a true statement as jury
nullification is a deeply rooted tradition in the development of American
Law. Anyone can go to the Fully Informed
Jury website to learn more about this very important aspect of our justice
#1 – FBI Special Agent Andrew Romagnolo (aka Agent Andy)
According to his testimony Agent Andy began his
investigation of the Liberty Dollar in June of 2004. A Statesville Bank called the FBI when a merchant
customer attempted to deposit a Liberty Dollar into her account. He contacted Scott Marion of the Secret
Service who contacted Daniel Shaver, US Mint.
Agent Andy went to a merchant in Asheville, North Carolina who was
purportedly accepting and was offering the Liberty Dollar for sale. He purchased a $10 Liberty Dollar and a $5
Liberty Dollar. At that time the $10 LD
was a one ounce silver round. He also
received a list of merchants that would accept the Liberty Dollar in the
Asheville area. His research indicated
that some of the people involved with the Liberty Dollar were also involved in
another organization that he was investigating, The Sovereign Citizen
movement. Agent Andy had the $10 and the
$5 Liberty sent to an FBI lab for testing.
At this point in the
investigation Agent Andy sent in an under cover agent to gather further
information on the Liberty Dollar. Agent
Walsh was assigned to go under cover and join the Liberty Dollar Organization
as an associate. Walsh paid $250 for a
welcome packet. Prosecutions Exhibit 25
– 27 contains the contents of the welcome packet, 4 one ounce liberty dollars, several
warehouse receipts for silver, and multiple marketing materials.
Agent Walsh signed up to
attend the upcoming Liberty Dollar University hereafter “LDU7” which was to be
held in Fletcher, NC, October 19 – 22, 2005.
Prosecutions Exhibit 17 – 23 contains all documents related to
LDU7. They include the welcome letter,
syllabus, Salesmanship 101, How to approach a business with the Liberty Dollar,
New RCO strategy, and Employees Guide – 10 do’s and don’ts to using the Liberty
Dollar and a form letter to present to the police before you begin distribution. Government Exhibits 12 – 15 were all
recordings made of conversations with Agent Walsh, BvNH, and Kevin Innes at
LDU7. Gov Exhibits 35 and 36 were
Liberty Dollar Silver Pieces.
At this point Agent Andy in my opinion, lies from the
stand, claiming Liberty Dollar to be a pyramid scheme or a Multi-Level
Marketing organization. Really, this is
14 year veteran agent of the FBI. There
is no doubt that he knows the difference between a pyramid scheme and a
standard corporate marketing structure that involves direct sales. He lied and I witnessed it.
His next testimony then turned the September 14, 2006
consumer currency advisory warning posted by the US mint. The warning was sent by certified mail to the
BvNH, the RCO’s, and was published in USA today, the Washington Post and other
mainstream media papers.
In October 2006 LDU11 was held in Skokie, Illinois. The next piece of evidence presented by the
prosecution drew a chuckle from most present in the court room. It was the infamous “Bite Me” t-shirt that an
agent bought at LDU11 marked G. Ex. 39.
To be accurate the t-shirt read “The US Mint Can Bite Me”. After LDU11, BvNH came to Asheville on two
more occasions to present training.
In March of 2007 the FBI had another under cover agent,
Julia Mueller pose as a merchant so they could observe Kevin Innes go through
the pitch on how to use the Liberty Dollar after the mint warning had been
issued. G. Ex. 50 was more Liberty Dollar
rounds they had purchased.
The testimony now moved into the warrants for seizure
that were issued, and the process to obtain the warrants. The raid on the Liberty Dollar and the
Sunshine Mint took place on November 14, 2007.
The agents who conducted the seizures at both the
Evansville office, and the Sunshine Mint logged all items that were
seized. Government Exhibits 58 – 71 were
office materials such as business cards, the RCO the contract with Kevin Innes,
invoices, profit statements for the Liberty Dollar and other items of general
G. Ex. 66 and 66a were of interest. The agents apparently seized medallions of
silver and various samples of script from Kevin Innes car at the time of his
arrest. Again, just my opinion, but it
appears that this evidence will weigh more in the favor of the defense. The prosecution may have brought it in to
make Kevin look like a “serial silver buyer” gasp, or someone of that nature,
but he probably had it to show as evidence that many
similar items as the Liberty Dollar. I
know after the Liberty Dollar raid my partner collected no less that 25 “coins”
and script being used as money, such as McDonald gift certificates and
such. Some of the items we collected
were actually issued by other Government Agencies, like the “Air Force Coin”
that you can buy. He sent it all to
Bernard for evidence.
Government Exhibits 72 -75 were photographs of the dies
and molding from the Sunshine Mint, and other correspondence between BvNH and
the Sunshine Mint.
There was a bit more testimony about a merchant who
approached agent Andy with some questions about the legality of the Liberty
Dollar, and G. Ex 45 was another one ounce Liberty Dollar turned in by the
THE DEFENSE CROSS EXAMINATION OF AGENT ANDY
Defense council, Randal Lee, began his questioning with
“Are you aware that the defendant filed suit in the District Court of Indiana
against the US Mint?” Yes his was aware. This suit also named Henry Paulson,
Alberto Gonzales and others and was seeking an injunction against the US Mint
requesting a redress of grievances stating that the use of Liberty Dollar was
not against the law.
Agent Andy testified that he requested the US Mint issue
the warning. He was also unaware of any
declaratory judgment available regarding the legality of the Liberty Dollar
being available in a civil suit such as that which was filed.
He testified that he did know Liberty Dollar was
incorporated in Nevada. NORFED stands
for “National Organization to Repeal the Federal Reserve Act and the Internal
Revenue Code. He did not know whether
Bernard was an architect before he started Liberty Dollar. Andy had no special training from the FBI
regarding Pyramid Schemes or Multi-Level Marketing. He was aware that they were characterized by
residual payments, and the Liberty Dollar did not make these types of payments
to the RCO’s. He had reviewed the audits
of the Liberty Dollar and had found them to represent the accurate quantities
He testified that having the head of the Statute of
Liberty on the face of the Liberty Dollar was not in itself illegal. He had no training in counterfeit
identification. That the Liberty Dollar
clearly says it is .9999 Fine Silver and no US Coin says that. They also confiscated tokens promoting the 2nd
Amendment and the Ron Paul Presidential Candidacy even though they had not been
used as currency. The Liberty Dollar
legitimately contains what it says it contains.
Does the government make any “coins” that contain .9999
Fine Silver? No, but pre-1964 “coins” contain silver.
When asked what the value of the Kennedy half dollar is
he said “But nobody makes money passing the Kennedy Half Dollar”. Think about it, this is better than a
Defense questions included, how many government “coins”
are marked MSRP? None.
Did you search the Sunshine Mint? No other agents did.
Can you approximate the amount of bullion seized at the
Sunshine Mint? No, but in total 10 tons
of Gold, Silver, Platinum, and Palladium were seized from the entire
What is a warehouse receipt and how is it different from
a Federal Reserve Note? A warehouse receipt can be turned in for gold or
During your investigation did you make an effort to
determine who owned the tons of silver, gold, platinum, and palladium that was
to be seized? No, we assumed that they belonged to the Liberty Dollar because
they were in the Liberty Dollars custody.
So the warehouse receipts cannot be redeemed because you
are holding all of the silver and gold.
Is that correct? Yes.
Have you had training regarding patent infringement? No.
If a person draws up a round to have it made where do
they go to ask the mint if it is legal?
Then he went on to explain the difference between Barter,
Local Currency, and Private Currency.
Barter is like trading a chicken or jelly beans, and example of Local
Currency would be something “Ithica Hours”.
“You testified regarding Statutes 485 and 486 that make
it illegal to utter or pass “coins” of gold or silver. What is the definition of a ‘coin’? A coin is legal tender.
There is a 5 ounce silver liberty. Does the US Government make a 5 ounce Silver?
The last question from the defense was, “Were you aware
of any paper receipts being passed?” His
#2 – FBI Special Agent Karen Walsh (aka Karen Wallace)
Walsh testified that she was a trained under cover agent for
the FBI and joined the investigation for the purpose of going under cover. She joined Liberty Dollar as an Associate
beginning in August 2005. Her first
contact was with Kevin Innes. After meeting
with him she then paid $250 to join as an associate. She testified that as an associate she received
monthly newsletters, and a Welcome packet containing marketing materials,
Silver Liberty Dollars, Paper Liberty Dollars, and eLiberty Dollars. $100 of the $250 went to the RCO for
introducing her. She then signed up to
attend Liberty Dollar University #7 “LDU7”, to be held in Fletcher, NC, October
19 – 22, 2005. The primary instructors
at the LDU7 were BvNH and Kevin Innes.
She testified that Bernard was the Executive Director of
Liberty Dollar, on the Executive Board, and the RCO of Indiana.
G. Ex. 25a – h the Welcome packet Agent Walsh received.
G. Ex. 26 4 Liberty Dollars 1oz $10 silver from Welcome
G. Ex. 17 Paper Certificates from Welcome packet
She testified that the Liberty Dollar claims there was 10
million Liberty Dollars in circulation and 100,000 users nationwide.
The prosecution produced a flow chart of the Liberty
(INSERT CHART HERE) still to come.
She discussed the process of the move up saying, “When
the spot price moved up they would re-mint the $10 face value to a $20, and
then to $50”.
She also testified that LDU7 was geared toward marketing. Bernard was there 100% of the time and did
the majority of the instructing.
G. Ex. 17 – 24, Liberty Dollar University Documents. The welcome letter, Sylabus, Salesmanship
101, How to approach businesses, New RCO Strategy, Employees Guide 10 do’s and
don’ts, Rates, Letter to the police.
How to do the drop? Agent Walsh described in detail the
process of “Doing the drop” which was part of the training at LDU7. She was told to hold the Liberty Dollar about
six inches above the palm of the hand of the merchant and then drop it into
The prosecution then played a short snippet G. Ex. 25c
which was a DVD containing a special presentation filmed by the Learning
Channel. The clipped showed Bernard
approaching a hot dog vendor and spending a $10 Liberty to get his food, and
then him in a shop offering the Liberty Dollar to a merchant who was happy to
accept it in exchange for T-shirts.
That ended day one of the trial.
Tomorrow turns out to be even better than today with
testimony from the Chief Council for the US Mint, and the FBI
Metallurgist. And what they have to say
is in my opinion is AWESOME! So stay
tuned for the next update. Aloha, until
Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that
these notes are the best of my recollection at the time they were taken. It is very hard to hear in the court room
sometimes. Take them as you will, no guarantee is made of their accuracy
because I am not a human typewriter or tape recorder and no recording devices
are being allowed in the courtroom.
Now I consider myself to be a friend of
Bernard von NotHaus and I also am a Liberty Dollar Associate, so I am by no
means a partial reporter in this case.
In my opinion, Liberty Dollar is one of the doors to changing our broken
financial system. Liberty Dollar became
a threat to the Federal Reserve by competing with them, and the Fed had them
taken out of business. That is my opinion.
However, I have made every effort to report as accurately the proceedings that
are going on in the Federal District Court here in Statesville, Indiana.
For those of you who are completely in
the dark about the Liberty Dollar Organization by Monday, March 14, 2011, I
will have a story organized to fill you in on the details but this testimony
gives a fairly accurate picture of the Liberty Dollar Story.
Heather Lewis www.Liberty4Free.com
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