By Washington Post editors | November 16, 2007; 6:48 PM ET
**Note: This article is from Nov. 16, 2007.
Federal agents on Wednesday raided the Evansville, Indiana headquarters of the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve and Internal Revenue Codes (NORFED), an organization of “sound money” advocates that for the past decade has been selling what it calls Liberty Dollars, a private currency it says is backed by silver and gold stored in Idaho, with a total of more than $20 million in circulation, according to the group.
NORFED officials said yesterday that the raid occurred just as they were preparing to mail out the first batch of about 60,000 “Ron Paul Dollars,” copper coins sold for $1 and decorated with the craggy visage of Paul, the libertarian Texas congressman, Iraq war opponent and sound-money advocate who has sparked a surprisingly vigorous insurgent campaign for the GOP nomination. The group says that it in recent months it already shipped out about 10,000 in silver Ron Paul dollars that sold for $20.
Bernard von NotHaus, NORFED’s founder and executive director, said in an interview from his home in Miami Friday night that his employees in Evansville had received the copper dollars late last week and managed to mail out only about 3,500 of them so far. After a six-hour raid, he said, the agents left with the rest of the coins, which weighed about two tons total, as well as smaller amounts of silver Ron Paul dollars, gold Ron Paul dollars that sell for $1,000 and platinum Ron Paul dollars that sell for $2,000. There was a separate raid, NotHaus said, of Sunshine Mint in Coer D’Alene, Idaho, a company that prints the organization’s coins, where von NotHaus said agents seized the huge pallets of silver and gold worth more than $1 million that the organization says back the paper certificates issued to its customers.
“They took everything, all of the computers, everything but the desks and chairs,” said von NotHaus, who says he served 25 years as the mintmaster for the Royal Hawaiian Mint. “The federal government really is afraid.”
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