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STATESVILLE, NC (WBTV) - A man was found guilty on Friday of minting his own currency and he could be sentenced up to 15 years in prison.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Bernard von NotHaus, 67, was convicted in Statesville of making, possessing and selling his own coins.
The trial lasted eight days and it took the jury less than two hours to deliberate.
NotHaus is the founder and monetary architect of a currency known as "Liberty Dollar."
The U.S. Attorney's Office says the coins were made to resemble United States coins and that the Liberty Dollar coins were intended for use as current money.
The investigation began in 2005 and involved the minting of Liberty Dollar coins with a current value of approximately $7 million.
Officials say NotHaus was the founder of an organization called the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve and Internal Revenue Code, also known as NORFED, and Liberty Services.
NotHaus was the president of the organization until about September of 2008.
NORFED distributed the Liberty Dollar throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. The U.S. Attorney's office said "NORFED's purpose was to mix Liberty Dollars into the current money of the United States."
NotHaus remains free on bond. He faces a sentence of up to 15 years imprisonment on count two of the Indictment and a fine of not more than $250,000. He faces a prison sentence of five years and fines of $250,000 on both counts one and three.
In addition, he also has to hand over 16,000 pounds of Liberty Dollar coins and precious metal valued at $7 million.