Liberty Dollar deemed counterfeit by jury. Founder speaks out.
He produced silver, copper, and gold medallions to be bought, sold, and exchanged, but a jury calls it counterfeiting and convicted him.
Now, he's talking to NBC25.
Bernard von NotHaus, the founder of Liberty Dollar, says he's a political prisoner and that your money will soon be worth even less.
For the last 12-years, Liberty Dollar based in Evansville, Indiana, produced copper, silver, and gold rounds.
They can't be called "coins" because only the government makes those.
"People are interested in their money and when they know they're getting screwed, they get real interested in their money and that's why the government cracked down on Liberty Dollar," von NotHaus tells NBC25.
In 2010, NBC25 did a series of stories on this competing currency with thousands of people liking it and sharing it on Facebook.
Liberty Dollar says its product is different from and superior to U.S. legal tender because it's inflation-proof and based on the value of precious metals.
"In the last 10 years, the Liberty Dollar went from a $10 base to a $50 base. It increased in value 500%. The other currency in the last ten years lost 50% of its purchasing power," says von NotHaus. "How can a counterfeit be worth more than the original?"
The U.S. Government says Liberty Dollar comes too close to legal tender with its use of the inscriptions "liberty," "dollars," "trust in God" (similar to "in God we trust") and "USA."
In 2006, the U.S. Mint told the public, "Prosecutors with the Department of Justice have determined that the use of these gold and silver NORFED 'liberty dollar' medallions as circulating money is a federal crime."
For those who own his product, von NotHaus says, "I love my country, but I fear the government."
The most serious conviction carries a 15-year prison term.
Von NotHaus is appealing the conviction.
There's an April 4th court date to decide if Liberty Dollar will be forced to forfeit its products to the government.
It includes 16,000 pounds of precious metals valued at nearly $7-million.
(update: he was found not guilty)