ATTORNEY AT LAW
April 7, 2008
Mr. Timothy M. Morrison
Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana
United States Attorney's Office
101 NW MLK Blvd, Suite 250
Evansville, IN 47708
Re: FBI raid on Liberty Dollar on November 14, 2007
Dear Mr. Morrison:
I have been retained by NORFED to correspond with you and file suit regarding the FBI raids on its facilities.
On November 14, 2007, Agent Andrew R. Romagnuola and his crew executed a search warrant at the office of NORFED in Evansville, IN. This was done pursuant to a search warrant issued by the US District Court Judge Richard L. Young in Evansville, IN. You were involved in this case.
At the raid of NORFED’s office and the warehouse in Idaho and other locations, a number of valuable items were seized. Since these items have no use to either a criminal investigation or as evidence, I request that they be returned to NORFED.
First, the FBI confiscated a great deal of cash money from the NORFED office, in addition to taking money from business bank accounts. If they keep the cash in their storage facility, then please have them send the cash back to NORFED after they test it. They may keep a representative sample [one bill per denomination]. These funds are not the result of any illegal activity and cannot be used as evidence in a trial. The bank statements could be used as evidence, but not the money itself.
The FBI’s normal practice is to deposit seized funds. I doubt that their checkbook entry is evidence of any crime. Please return to NORFED all funds taken. Also, please release all bank accounts so that NORFED may refund the money to the customers if it cannot fill the orders.
Second, the FBI seized two tons of copper Liberty Dollars as well as a large number of silver and gold Liberty Dollars. Please return these to NORFED, but you are welcome to keep a representative sample of each type of Liberty Dollars [one per denomination] for your investigation. In addition, for the approximately three and a half million dollars ($3,500,000) in silver and gold at the storage facility in Idaho, please return these items to the warehouse so the warehouse can fulfill requests by the warehouse receipt holders for their property.
The copper Liberty Dollars were struck with the image of Presidential candidate Ron Paul. These were clearly items to be used to promote the federal presidential campaign of US Congressman Paul. If you do not return these, then clearly you will be interfering with a federal presidential campaign. The Bill of Rights to the Constitution prohibits federal agencies from interfering with the political process of a free people.
NORFED’s customers have a constitutional right to participate in political organizations and to promote their political ideals. These Liberty Dollars struck with candidate Paul’s image have little political appeal when his campaign ends. Refusing to return these timely is a serious violation of the organization and its customers’ political rights.
Third, the agency confiscated the contents of the warehouse at Sunshine Mint, about three and a half million dollars ($3,500,000) in precious metals that backs the paper currency and the electronic Liberty Dollar held by thousands of Americans. All the segregated gold and silver Liberty Dollars in the Sunshine vault was not NORFED’s property, but the property of the certificate holders and the electronic Liberty Dollar account holders. For each certificate, there is an equivalent amount of gold and/or silver held in the vault. The ownership of the silver and gold must be transferred to the certificate holders and the holders of the digital Liberty Dollars, Sunshine Mint or entrusted to a designated escrow agent who will return that property to its owners.
Fourth, the FBI took the account sheets and records of the NORFED organization, hampering the operation of a political association. NORFED needs those books and records to continue its activities. You are welcome to keep the originals, but I request that you send to that political organization good, clear copies of all the books and records.
Fifth, the FBI seized the organization’s computers and office equipment. You may copy the hard drives [without erasing their content] before returning them to NORFED, along with the computer hardware. The organization needs this equipment for its own operations.
Sixth, the FBI removed a vast amount of political literature, flyers, booklets, memos, etc. from the organization’s offices. Their political operation needs this political literature to promote their political beliefs. I am sure the FBI does not want to interfere with the free exercise of political speech in a free society.
Seventh, the FBI crew also took the personal items of NORFED’s CEO and his staff. Please have them return these items to the location from which they were taken. Release them back to Bernard von NotHaus and his staff, or notify the organization’s CEO and his staff to pick them up.
Eighth, Agent Andy’s crew took the stamping dies from the Sunshine Mint facility, as well as other miscellaneous items. These should be returned as well.
I hope we can resolve this matter without litigation. We do not want to violate the concept of judicial economy or insult the fine judges in western North Carolina.
In a similar case involving Dr. Robert Clarkson, the magistrate judge in Greenville, SC, ordered the FBI to return most of the material subject to the search warrant. Judges in Asheville will probably take a similar stance. Therefore, we can avoid unnecessary court action if you return to NORFED those items similar to those you returned to Dr. Clarkson.
Also, the District Court in Asheville, NC, in the Clarkson case ordered your people to return to him all items that had no evidentiary value in your investigation. Please apply the same standard to the items just taken from NORFED, and promptly return the items to NORFED. This would save everybody a lot of time, resources and expense in a court case.
The Assistant US Attorney in Asheville agreed to return to Dr. Clarkson his coins, cash, checks and other material. Apparently she anticipated a court order and took the wise action of conceding where she could not win anyway.
NORFED, the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve Act and the Internal Revenue Code, was incorporated in Nevada in September of 1998 as a non-profit educational association for a kindred political association. This political association has always been a political association and it is a non-profit business.
NORFED’s political goals include repealing the Federal Reserve System and the Internal Revenue Code. To promote its political purposes, NORFED distributes gold and silver Liberty Dollars in specie, digital and paper certificate form. NORFED has a right under the US Constitution to participate in political organizations and to promote its political ideals.
Apparently, FBI agents under your direction seized the NORFED inventory of gold and silver Liberty Dollar to harass, burden, or even destroy a political organization which the FBI/DOJ determined was wrong. However, you have no authority under the law or regulations to make such a determination or to attack political organizations.
NORFED’s right to promote its views is protected by the First, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments of the US Constitution. In the same manner that practices are an important part of beliefs in religion, so it is in politics. NORFED has a right to freedom of speech and to promote its ideas, and the FBI must respect those rights.
As you saw in the news media, a few months ago, the FBI office in Boston paid over one hundred and ten million dollars ($110,000,000) in damages and generated adverse publicity. Please do not bring such shame on the good FBI office in Asheville, North Carolina.
The requests made by NORFED in this letter are legitimate, and all items as described herein must be returned to it or its officers as soon as possible.