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The Unjust Conviction of an Innocent Man: The Ian Freeman Case, Part 1-3 by Jacob Hornberger

• Jacob Hornberger - FFF

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

If one googles the name "Ian Freeman" and "bitcoin," the result will be hundreds  of articles describing Freeman as a "fraudster." That's because immediately after  Freeman's sentencing in a criminal case in a U.S. District Court in New Hampshire  on October 2, 2023, the U.S. Attorney's office in New Hampshire sent out a press  release in which Freeman was labeled a "fraudster." 

There is one big problem, however, with that description: Freeman was never  convicted of fraud, and the U.S. Attorney's office knew that when it sent out that  press release on the day of his sentencing.  

That's not to say, however, that there wasn't any evidence of fraud in Freeman's  trial. There was, but it was fraud committed by the U.S. government official whose  testimony the U.S. Attorney used to secure a conviction of Freeman on a bogus  charge of "money laundering." Although the jury found Freeman guilty of money  laundering based on the sworn testimony of that agent, the federal judge presiding  over the trial, Judge Joseph Laplante, as we see later in this article, threw out that  finding of guilt and acquitted Freeman of the money-laundering charge. 

Nonetheless, Freeman was convicted on other charges — conspiracy to engage in  money laundering, failing to register his bitcoin business with the federal  government, conspiring to fail to register his bitcoin business with the federal  government, and income-tax evasion, all of which, as we will see later in this  article, were as bogus as the money-laundering conviction that the judge rightly  threw out.  

In short, this article is about the unjust conviction of an innocent man — Ian  Freeman — who is now serving an eight-year jail sentence that was meted out to  him by the same judge who threw out that bogus money-laundering conviction.  


The Unjust Conviction of an Innocent Man: The Ian Freeman Case, Part 2


July 2, 2024

In 2008, a person by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto revolutionized the monetary world with the invention of bitcoin, the world's first decentralized cryptocurrency. Concerned about the omnipotent control over money that governments all over the world wielded and the massive violations of financial privacy that came with such control, Nakamoto's bitcoin provided people with a currency beyond governmental control that afforded people the possibility of restoring a tremendous amount of privacy over their financial affairs, something that federal officials naturally feared.

Ian Freeman and bitcoin

Ian Freeman was present at the beginning of the bitcoin revolution. As a libertarian, he understood perfectly the ramifications of federal monetary control and the destruction of liberty and privacy that came with such control. He understood that the U.S. Constitution established a gold-coin, silver-coin monetary standard, one that had protected the American people for some 125 years from the inflationary debauchery that comes with government-issued paper money. He understood the monetary revolution that had taken place in 1913 with the adoption of the Federal Reserve System. He understood the consequences of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's nationalization of gold coins in the 1930s and the adoption of paper money as the legal tender of the United States as a prelude to the conversion of the federal government to a welfare-warfare state. He understood how the federal government had plundered and looted the American people through the Federal Reserve's decades-long policy of ever-expanding quantities of paper money. He understood how the federal government had destroyed people's right of financial privacy with its massive control over the banking industry, especially in combination with the multitudes of rules and regulations that come with the federal government's decades-long drug war. In short, Freeman grasped the potential that bitcoin provided to upend the government's control over monetary affairs, which was precisely what Nakamoto hoped to achieve with his invention of bitcoin.


The Unjust Conviction of an Innocent Man: The Ian Freeman Case, Part 3


July 3, 2024

As I pointed out in parts 1 and 2 of this article, the main thrust of the U.S. government's case against Ian Freeman involved money-laundering and conspiracy to launder money.

The money-laundering charge came after the undercover IRS agent Pavel Prilotsky posed as a drug dealer in an attempt to entrap Freeman into committing a money-laundering offense. But that was the charge that the presiding judge in the case, Joseph Laplante, determined was invalid and threw out.

Freeman was convicted of the conspiracy charge even though, as I pointed out in part 2, there was no evidence whatsoever that he ever entered into any illegal agreement with anyone to launder money. By any objective standard of justice, Laplante should have issued a judgment of acquittal on that charge as well, as he did with the money-laundering charge.

That left two other sets of charges that Freeman was convicted of: (1) operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business and conspiring to run an unlicensed money-transmitting business and (2) attempting to "evade and defeat taxes" in the years 2016–2019.

Add-on charges and plea bargains

I call these particular charges "add-on" charges. What federal prosecutors do when they are charging someone with a crime is load up with as many charges as they can against the accused. They do that to pressure the accused into accepting a plea bargain in which he pleads guilty to one offense and has all the other add-on offenses dismissed. It looks like a great deal for the accused until he realizes that the offense to which he is expected to plead guilty is a felony that entails a very long jail sentence.


1 Comments in Response to

Comment by PureTrust
Entered on:

Start at the beginning of the case. When they try to get you to admit that you are the person on their indictment, it's a sales pitch. If you want to play, accept that you are that person. But the odds are very high that you will lose if you play. Rather, stand unrepresented in court, as a man, and get your accuser on the stand where you can question him. Oops. Your accuser is a piece of paper. Can't get on the stand. You win.

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