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IPFS News Link • Investigations

How I Came to Investigate the Ian Freeman Case

• Jacob Hornberger - FFF

Note: FFF will be at FreedomFest in Las Vegas starting tomorrow (Wednesday) through Sunday. Therefore, there will be no FFF Daily or my blog published for the rest of this week. We will resume publication on Monday, July 15.


I fully realize that my 3-part article "The Unjust Conviction of an Innocent Man: The Ian Freeman Case" is extremely long. I also know that many people prefer to read short articles online. However, I have absolutely no doubts that anyone who takes the time to read my entire article will reach one conclusion: An innocent man — libertarian Ian Freeman — is being made to serve an 8-year-jail sentence in a federal penitentiary.

I would like to share with you how it is that I decided to investigate the Ian Freeman case.

A while back I had learned that a federal jury had convicted Freeman of fraud. Those two factors — a jury trial and a fraud conviction — caused me to not delve into the case to see what it was all about. That's because libertarians do not countenance the initiation of force or fraud against others. Moreover, it was a jury, rather than a judge, that had found Freeman guilty, which made the conviction more credible.


Last month, I was giving a talk at PorcFest, the annual libertarian festival that the Free State Project holds in Lancaster, New Hampshire. I heard a speaker make reference to the Ian Freeman case. I turned to a friend of mine — Jim — and asked him, "Do you know what Ian supposedly did to defraud people." He responded that Ian had not defrauded anyone.

I have known Jim for many years and trust his judgment. Curious, I returned home and began searching articles on the Internet about the Freeman case. There are, I think, hundreds. Some of them stated that he had been convicted of fraud and money laundering. Some of them labeled him a "fraudster." Some of them described older people being scammed out of their money by "romance scammers." Some of the articles stated that the scammers had used Freeman's bitcoin-selling business to facilitate their scams. I could understand why the romance scammers would be guilty of fraud but it still wasn't clear to me how Freeman himself had defrauded the romance-scam victims or anyone else.

I ultimately came across an excellent article by Brian Doherty of Reason magazine that was dated December 30, 2022, eight days after the jury verdict on December 22. It was the first and only article I came across that criticized Freeman's conviction. I highly recommend reading it. Since I have the utmost respect for Doherty's scholarship, I decided to delve more deeply into the case.

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