U.S. Raids Issuer of Ron Paul Coins
By Joseph Goldstein
Federal agents, in a move that could have an impact on the presidential race, raided the Indiana office of the issuer of a private currency known as the Liberty Dollar — and seized tens of thousands of coins bearing the likeness of a presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul.
Overall, agents on Wednesday hauled away more than 2 tons of copper coins and 500 pounds of silver coins, as well as records and computers, the founder of the currency system, Bernard von NotHaus, told The New York Sun by phone from Miami. Although not present in Evansville, Ind., for the raid, Mr. von NotHaus said he has been told that the government agents left business cards from the FBI and Secret Service. Neither agency would confirm or deny the raid when contacted by the Sun.
The raid has the potential to alter the campaign of Mr. Paul, the Republican candidate of Texas whose visage appears on the more than 50,000 seized copper coins, as well as on lesser amounts of gold and silver coins. Mr. Paul is basing his presidential campaign in part on the argument that the federal government has been debasing the dollar.
Mr. von NotHaus, a supporter of the presidential candidate, said he put Mr. Paul's image on the dollars to raise attention for the candidate. An eclectic nationwide crew of libertarians and coin enthusiasts exchange the coins.