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A dozen people around the country filed suit in U.S. District Court in Idaho this week demanding the return of all the copper, silver, gold, and platinum coins — more than seven tons of metal in all — that the FBI and Secret Service seized in November during raids of a mint in Idaho and a strip mall storefront in Indiana.
The creator of the coins, Bernard von NotHaus, who lives in Miami, claims that the federal government is trying to shut down production of his liberty dollars, as the coins are called, because of the competition they pose to the greenback. In recent years, his precious metal coins have outperformed the dollar, whose value has plunged in relation to gold.
The raids in November were the result of a two-year undercover investigation of Mr. Von NotHaus and how he sold liberty dollars. The Justice Department has not followed up with any criminal charges against Mr. Von NotHaus or the regional distributors of his coins.