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Last Updated, August 29, 1999

Idiot Legal Arguments: A Casebook for Dealing with Extremist Legal Arguments

Part Seven

By Bernard J. Sussman, JD, MLS, CP

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Federal  Reserve  Notes ("FRNs"):  Demos v. Kincheloe (ED Wash 1982) 563 F.Supp 30 (sounding as a civil rights claim); similarly Zeissig v. US (1976) 211 Ct Claims 313; Ginter v. Southern (8th Cir 1979) 611 F2d 1226 cert.denied 446 US 967; Richardson v. State of Utah, the Fourth Circuit Court, et al. (10th Cir unpub 9/16/94); DeLaRosa v. Agents for International Monetary Fund (ED Cal unpub 10/12/95) 76 AFTR2d 7134; US v. Greenstreet (ND Tex 1996) 912 F.Supp 224; Juneau County v. Baritsky (Wisc.App unpub 8/25/94) rev. denied (Wisc.Supm unpub 12/14/94) 527 NW2d 335(t); DeJulis v. Alexander (D Wyo 1975) 393 F.Supp 823; Hartman v. Switzer (WD Penn 1974) 376 F.Supp 486; Nixon v. Phillipoff (ND IL 1985) 615 F.Supp 890 aff'd 787 F2d 596(t) (court referred to the Legal Tender Cases (1884) 110 US 421 which held that Art. I sec.8, cl.5 of the US Constitution gave Congress the authority "to coin money and regulate the value thereof" and this gave Congress exclusive authority to determine that Federal Reserve Notes are legal tender everywhere); ditto US v. Rifen (1978) 577 F2d 1111; ditto Richardson v. Sullivan (10th Cir unpub 6/18/93) 996 F2d 331(t) cert.den 510 US 1138;  ditto (Congressional determination of FRNs as legal tender is conclusive on state and county govts and will not be challenged by the courts) Allen v. Craig (1977) 1 Kan.App.2d 301, 564 P2d 552; ditto State v. Dennis (Wis.App unpub 12/13/83) 117 Wis.2d 782(t), 343 NW2d 830(t); ditto ("Congress has exercised this power by ... the definition of FRNs as legal tender, 31 USC sec. 392. ... There can therefore be no challenge to the legality of federal reserve notes.  And we take judicial notice of the fact that FRNs are valued in dollars.") US v.  L.G. Anderson (10th Cir 1978) 584 F2d 369; ditto ("It remains only for us to state that the US Congress is the only entity empowered to declare what shall be deemed legal tender.  Congress has so declared.  31 USC sec. 392 provides that FRNs shall be legal tender for all debts and taxes.  This unique and broad power of Congress to declare what shall be money and to regulate its value for all purposes has been constitutionally recognized.") Trohimovich v. Director of Wash. Dept of Labor & Industries (1978) 21 Wash.App 243, 584 P2d 467; ditto Milam v. US (9th Cir 1974) 524 F2d 629;  ditto Harrell v. CIR (6/15/98) TC Memo 1998-207 ("Petitioner's most clearly stated explanation is that he was paid in FRNs, which are not lawful money and which are worthless.  Yet, petitioner used the supposedly worthless FRNs to pay his expenses.  We do not believe petitioner really thought that the FRNs were worthless."); (FRNs are money, they are not counterfeits of "lawful money", they are measured in dollars and loans made with, and contracts to pay in, FRNs are valid and enforceable) Kauffman v. Citizens State Bank of Loyal (Wis.App 1981) 102 Wis.2d 528, 307 NW2; (the Kauffman case "laid to rest" any argument that FRNs are not real money) Rock County Savings & Loan Co. v. Tracy (Wis.App unpub 5/14/82) 107 Wis.2d 746(t), 322 NW2d 700(t); (in fact, FRNs are real enough that trying to pass forgeries is prosecuted under 18 USC 472 as counterfeiting) US v. Grismore (10th Cir 1977) 564 F2d 929 cert.den 435 US 954; (paychecks and other checks received by perp are taxable income, notwithstanding that checks can be converted only into FRNs and not into gold or silver) US v. Wangrud (9th Cir 1976) 533 F2d 495 cert.den 429 US 818; (in a conviction for mail fraud, not a defense that the defendant obtained only FRNs or checks which were cashed into FRNs, on the pretext that FRNs are worthless and therefore his scam did not amount to fraud because not obtaining something of value) US v. Anderson (8th Cir 1970) 433 F2d 856; and cf. Kauffman v. Citizens State Bank of Loyal (Wis.App 1981) 102 Wis.2d 528, 307 NW2 (FRNs are not counterfeit money);  ditto ("We do not believe petitioner would have continued for so long to exchange his labor or services for the right to receive worthless paychecks or worthless currency.  Again, we do not believe petitioner really thought that the Federal Reserve Notes were worthless.") Harrell v.  CIR (6/15/98) TC Memo 1998-207; R.K. Williams v. CIR (10th Cir unpub 7/28/98) 153 F3d 730(t), 98 USTC para 50604; J.B. Smith v. US, IRS, et al. (D. Ida unpub 7/30/93);  similarly Farber v. Mossman (SD Iowa unpub 2/26/79) 43 AFTR2d 979, 79 USTC para 9256 (alleging that he was bankrupt in 1979, thereby not suitable for taxation, because of the 1933 Gold Repeal); ditto (claiming that by the 1933 Gold Repeal "Congress temporarily relieved me of my right to pay my debts") Allen v. Cantrell (D Kan unpub 12/27/78) 79 USTC para 9171, 43 AFTR2d 710;  (FRNs are legal tender, measured in dollars, and the use of FRNs by state and municipal govts and courts is not a violation of US Constitution, Art.  I sec. 10) Rothacker v.  Rockwall Country Central Appraisal District (Tex.App 1985) 703 SW2d 235; ditto State v. D.R. Gibson (1985) 108 Ida. 202, 697 P2d 1216; State v. Schimmels (Wis.App unpub 5/23/84) 119 Wis.2d 902(t), 350 NW2d 743(t); State v. Dennis (Wis.App unpub 12/13/83) 117 Wis.2d 782(t), 343 NW2d 830(t);  (where perp argued whether the court could insist that fines be paid in paper money, the court mooted the point by announcing it would accept US coins) City of Billings v. Skurdal (1986) 224 Mont 84, 730 P2d 371 cert.den 481 US 1020; Fadden v. Comm'r of Revenue (Minn. Tax Ct unpub 3/11/85) ("We do not understand appellant's claim [that FRNs are not legal tender] since the decision simply provides that appellant must pay the amount stated therein.  If he wishes to pay this by some other form of legal tender, he may do so."); (tired to argue that he could not be required to pay for a drivers license or car registration, nor the fine for unlicensed driving, because of the lack of gold coinage) Lowry v. State (Alask.App 1982) 655 P2d 780;  (and where the perp refused to pay his license fees in FRNs because FRNs are not gold or silver, the court emphasized that he had NOT attempted to  pay in gold or silver either) State v. Dennis (Wis.App unpub 12/13/83) 117 Wis.2d 782(t), 343 NW2d 830(t);  (complained that having to pay court fines in FRNs violated his religion, "the court characterized this claim as patently frivolous") Morehouse v.  US Dept of Justice (ND Tex unpub 6/8/98); ditto Tinsley v.  CIR (ND Tex 2/9/98); ditto (a repeater arguing about "lawful money" and his religious objections)  Ex Parte Brand (Tex.App 1992) 822 SW2d 636 and  Brand v. State (Tex.App 1992) 828 SW2d 824; ditto Pyne v. Meese (1985) 172 Cal.App.3d 392, 218 Cal.Rptr 87 (refused to pay his license tag fees in FRNS and instead presented his own funny money pretending to be payable at some unknown date in gold, and was surprised when his car was towed) Pyne v. Meese (1985) 172 Cal.App.3d 392, 218 Cal.Rptr 87;  tried to persuade a state court to declare FRNs unconstitutional.  Skurdal v. State (Wyo.Supm 1985) 708 P2d 1241 ("perhaps the most frivolous appeal ever filed here"); similarly Herald v.  State (1984) 107 Ida 640, 691 P2d 1255; similarly Brobeck v. CIR (7/8/80) TC Memo 1980-239 aff'd (3d Cir 1982) 681 F2d 804(t);  (use of FRNs by municipal police and traffic court does not thereby make a traffic case into a federal case nor does it make enforcement or traffic laws a "commercial" activity subject to the UCC) Kimmell v. Leoffler (Tex.App 1990) 791 SW2d 648; [-- the UCC itself explicitly says that "money" is not a negotiable instrument within its meaning and that UCC Art.  3 (Negotiable Instruments) does not apply to money; UCC sec. 3-102(a)];    (FRNs are legal currency, and the govt's use of FRNs does not waive its sovereign immunity)  N.J. Wilson v. US (D Colo unpub 5/5/98) 81 AFTR2d 2240 suit dism with prejudice (D Colo unpub 8/21/98) 82 AFTR2d 6239; (altho govt bonds and obligations are exempt from taxation, under 31 USC sec. 3124, FRNs are explicitly not in this category and are taxable as well as usable to pay taxes. Jackson v. Comm'r of Revenue (Minn Tax Ct unpub 4/19/84); ditto Provenza v. Comptroller of the Treasury (1985) 64 Md.App 563, 497 A2d 831; citizens and taxpayers lacked standing, as such, to bring suit to challenge the validity of the Federal Reserve Act. Horne v. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (8th Cir 1965) 344 F2d 725;  

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   relying on the Coinage Act of 1792 (1 Stat 246; this set the original value in weight of gold or silver of US coins, but the US Supreme Court, in the Legal Tender Cases [Knox v.  Lee, 1870] 79 US (12 Wall) 457, said that the Coinage Act had been amended several times by 1870, -- the gold measurements were changed in 1834 & 1837, and silver measurements in 1853 --, and it has been further amended since then so that absolutely nothing remains now of the 1792 original act; by 1872 when the Revised Statutes were published only sec. 20 of the 1792 act survived, as RS sec. 3563  (and that section said only that US money was measured in dollars, dismes [dimes], cents and milles), and then this lone surviving section was repealed [96 Stat 1084] and replaced in 1982 by 31 USC sec. 5101 (the repeal enabled US courts in multinational cases to award damages calculated in foreign money); In the Matter of Oil Spill by Amaco Cadiz (7th Cir 1992) 954 F2d 1279 at 1328): US v.  Shields (8th Cir 1981) 642 F2d 230 cert.den 454 US 848;   Harrell v.  CIR (6/15/98) TC Memo 1998-207; Mathes v. CIR (5th Cir  1978) 576 F2d 70 cert.den 440 US 911; Bates v. US (7th Cir 1939) 108 F2d 407 cert.den 309 US 666;  US v. Rifen (1978) 577 F2d 1111; Gajewski v. CIR (11/10/76) 67 Tax Ct 181 aff'd (8th Cir 1978) 578 F2d 1383;  Cavanaugh v. CIR (8/19/91) TC Memo 1991-407 aff'd (10th Cir unpub 2/9/93) 986 F2d 1426(t); Jenny v. CIR (1/3/83) TC Memo 1983-1 (oddly enough, perps'  tax returns refused to recognize as income anything not received in gold or silver but thoroughly recounted expenses and deductions which certainly had been paid in paper); similarly further history of the changes of  the amount of gold until that provision was effectively superseded in 1972 and formally repealed in 1982. Baird v. County Assessors (Utah 1989) 779 P2d 676;   similarly (protester cited Coinage Act, "This statement reflects petitioner's misconception ... that 'dollar' is an indefinable term and that he cannot measure his income, file returns, or pay tax until 'dollar' is defined."  and protester sent letters to his bank and employer, threatening to sue them if they provided any info to the IRS "before requring the IRS to define dollar".) Wilber v. CIR (8/31/87) TC Memo 1987-439 aff'd (8th Cir unpub 11/10/88) 871 F2d 1092(t); Pouncy v. First Virginia Mortgage Co (4th Cir unpub 4/3/95) 51 F3d 267(t); Cohn v. Tucson Electric Power Co. (1983) 138 Ariz 136, 673 P2d 334; ("Spurgeon's contention that a dollar is not a form of money but merely a unit measure which cannot be taxed is clearly frivolous.") US v. Spurgeon (8th Cir 1982) 671 F2d 1198;  even while sec.20 survived it only dealt with "how we talk about our money, including how we talk about it in judgments", but does not relate to whether money is acceptable in paper or only in precious metal. County of Dane v. Kreyer (Wis.App unpub 4/27/82) 107 Wis.2d 744(t), 321 NW2d 367(t);  (perp not allowed to present text of Coinage Act to jury because judge is the jury's authority for applicable law) US v. Willie (10th Cir 1991) 941 F2d 1384 cert.den 502 US 1106; in fact, if the taxpayer is paid in silver coins instead of paper money, the IRS can tax that income at the higher numismatic market value of the coins rather than their face value.  Joslin v.  US (10th Cir 1981) 666 F2d 1306; (tax evasion organization enjoined from preaching that FRNs are not real money nor countable as income) Blaty v. CIR (10/1/84) TC Memo 1984-518; [under a 1985 law, the US govt is not permitted to pay out any gold coin, and pays only in current US paper money and (non-precious metal) coinage, 31 USC sec. 5118];     

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   claimed that the dollar sign is meaningless or ambiguous: R.K. Williams v. CIR (10th Cir unpub 7/28/98) 153 F3d 703(t), 98 USTC para 50604; US v.  Shields (8th Cir 1981) 642 F2d 230 cert.den 454 US 848; ("The contention that the use of "$" as the dollar sign ... creates an ambiguity is the height of absurdity.")  US v.  Rickman (10th Cir 1980) 638 F2d 182; US v. Brown (10th Cir 1979) 600 F2d 248;  (insisting that "$" means only gold and silver coinage) Brobeck v. CIR (7/8/80) TC Memo 1980-239 aff'd (3d Cir 1982) 681 F2d 804(t); ditto Gajewski v. CIR (11/10/76) 67 Tax Ct 181 aff'd (8th Cir 1978) 578 F2d 1383; ditto US v.  Kelley (9th Cir 1976) 539 F2d 1199 cert.den 429 US 963;  (pretending that he did not understand a court order imposing a monetary fine because the amount used a dollar sign with only one vertical line  through it; enjoined from further litigation) Salman v.  Jameson (D Nev unpub 4/14/97) 97 USTC para 50452, 79 AFTR2d 2667; {NOTE:  F.  Cajori, A History of Mathematical Notations (vol.  2, LaSalle, IL, 1929, reprinted NY, Dover 1993) p.  15, sec. 402 et seq, discusses the origins of the dollar sign and acknowledges that few other symbols have had "less real scientific study"; almost certainly the folklore that $ is a monogram for US is wrong because the symbol is found in Europe and Spanish colonies before 1776 (and before the minting of the first US dollar in 1794), apparently as an abbreviation for the Spanish peso or pieces of eight, called in England a Spanish dollar, particularly because from around 1661 that Spanish dollar bore the numeral 8 between two upright Roman pillars (the $  symbol presumably emulates the I8I image - these coins were sometimes called "pillar dollars", or the letters P and S overwritten); very convincing likenesses of the modern dollar sign are used for the Spanish peso in manuscripts from New Orleans in 1778 and in a diary kept in 1776 by New York legislator Ezra l'Hommedieu (who wrote it sometimes with one stroke and sometimes with two), and it first appears in print in America for a "federal dollar" by 1797.    Joel Munsell covered the same theories in his Typographical Miscellany (NY 1850, reprinted NY, B. Franklin, 1972) p.86, and further suggested that it might be a monagram formed by linking two uppercase Ds - the upper D rotated halfway, or a monogram for pesos fuertos ("hard pesos") or just fuertos, known to have been abbreviated by a lowercase script F doubled or by combining the lowercase F and S.  Nobody seems to have speculated that the S was intended as an English, German or other initial for Spanish, silver, sterling, etc.}; (claimed he did not know whether the word Dollars in the IRC was used as a noun or an adjective [!?]) US v.  Scott (ND Ind unpub 2/4/98) 81 AFTR2d 1076 judgmt entered (ND Ind unpub 10/8/98); (pretended that because the documents associated with his debt used the amounts without a dollar sign, the transaction had no value and he owed nothing)  US v. Schiefen (D SD 1995) 926 F.Supp 877 aff’d 81 F3d 166 mand.denied 522 US 1074; (on the other hand, if someone is paid in coins which are not currently circulating legal tender -- e.g. gold or collectors coins -- that payment is taxed not merely at the face value of the coins but at the fair market value for collectable coins, per 26 USC 1001(b), which is usually much higher) Wm.R. Smith v.  CIR (4/23/98) TC Memo 1998-148; {Note: Some tax protesters have argued about the distinction between FRNs and "lawful money",  on the assumption that the latter means precious metal.   The old paper money, especially before 1934, contained a statement that the paper money was "redeemable in lawful money" at Federal Reserve banks, but under an 1862 Act of Congress which persisted until 1982 (RS sec. 3588, former 31 USC sec. 452) declared that US paper money is "lawful money and a legal tender in payment of all debts, within the US, except for duties on imports and interest on the public debt", so (at least from 1933, when the law was changed [48 Stat 112, ch.48] to restrict the Treasury's sale of silver and gold to the public)  the Federal Reserve system would redeem paper currency with other denominations of paper currency or with ordinary (non-precious) coins;  the expression "lawful money" and the restriction about payment on duties and interest on the public debt were dropped when the title was revised and enacted as positive law in 1982 (current 31 USC sec. 5103), so there is nothing in the law now that requires (or entitles) paper currency to be redeemed with precious metal.  Several court decisions have clearly  treated  US paper currency as "lawful money"; e.g., Norman v.  Baltimore & Ohio R.R. Co.  (1935) 294 US 240 at 306; US v.  United Fruit Co. (D.  Mass 1923) 292 Fed 308; and similarly sec. 13 of the Federal Reserve Act (now amended as 12 USC sec. 342) in its original text used "lawful money" to indicate government-authorized currency (including paper money) issued by the Treasury, and to distinguish that from financial instruments such as checks issued by banks.  The Rickman decision, noted above, regarded Federal Reserve Notes as lawful money for the ordinary purposes of calculating income for taxes.}  

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  (FRNs not "income"): Barcroft v. CIR (1/2/97) TC Memo 1997-5 app.dism (5th Cir 12/17/97) 134 F3d 369(t), 98 USTC para  50157; US v. Greenstreet (ND Tex 1996) 912 F.Supp 224; US v. Schiefen (D SD 1995) 926 F.Supp 877 aff’d 81 F3d 166 mand.denied 522 US 1074; US v.  Benson (5th Cir 1979) 592 F2d 257;  Coleman v. CIR (7th Cir 1986) 791 F2d 68; Ric. Davis v. CIR (WD Okl unpub 4/13/78) 41 AFTR2d 1376, 78 USTC para  9478; McKenney v. Blumenthal (ND Ga unpub 2/23/79) 43 AFTR2d 960, 79 USTC  para  9346; US v. Hori (CD Calif 1979) 470 F.Supp 1029 (tried to claim he had no income because "no constitutional money in circulation"); US v.  Rickman (10th Cir 1980) 638 F2d 182 ("Defendant claims error in the instruction that FRNs are lawful money.  We have held that they are.  The instruction was proper."); ditto Cameron v.  IRS (ND Ind 1984) 593 F.Supp 1540 aff'd (7th Cir 1985) 773 F2d 126; ditto US v.  Kelley (9th Cir 1976) 539 F2d 1199 cert.den 429 US 963 ("Kelley apparently believes that since FRNs are not redeemable in gold or silver, they are not dollars... He contends that he was paid in FRNs that were not lawful money and that he therefore had no income upon which he could be taxed.  We have rejected this argument as frivolous."); ditto US v.  Gardiner (9th Cir 1976) 531 F2d 953 cert.den 429 US 853 ("Such an argument has been summarily found to be without merit."); ditto Harwood v. US (D Mass 1977) 440 F.Supp 1019 (denied the amount of his income because received in "psuedo-dollars"); DeJulis v. Alexander (D Wyo 1975) 393 F.Supp 823; Lorre v. Alexander (WD Tex unpub 8/8/77) 40 AFTR2d 5677, 77 USTC para  9672; Ivey v. US (ED Wisc unpub 8/31/76) 38 AFTR2d 5909, 76 USTC para  9682; Tiffany v. CIR (3/28/78) TC Memo 1978-122; Dunham v. CIR (2/9/98) TC Memo 1998-52; DeLaRosa v. Agents for International Monetary Fund (ED Cal unpub 10/12/95) 76 AFTR2d 7134; O’Brien v. CIR (6th Cir 1985) 779 F2d 52; Dunham v. CIR (2/9/98) TC Memo 1998-52; Ginter v. Southern (8th Cir 1979) 611 F2d 1226 cert.denied 446 US 967; Pingel v. Troy & Nichols Inc (1995) 51 Ark.App 41, 907 SW2d 757; Brand v. State (Tex.App 1992) 828 SW2d 824; Buckley v. State (Tex.App unpub 2/18/92); N.J. Wilson v. US (D Colo unpub 5/5/98) 81 AFTR2d 2240 suit dism with prejudice (D Colo unpub 8/21/98) 82 AFTR2d 6239; McCoy v. CIR (1982) TC Memo 1982-570; Brobeck v. CIR (7/8/80) TC Memo 1980-239; Gajewski v. CIR (11/10/76) 67 Tax Ct 181 aff'd (8th Cir 1978) 578 F2d 1383; Noah v.  CIR (10th Cir unpub 7/16/98) 153 F3d 727(t), 82 AFTR2d 5291, 98 USTC para 50567; US v. Shields (8th Cir 1981) 642 F2d 230 cert.den 454 US 848; Heller v.  CIR (4/17/78) TC Memo 1978-149; US v. Condo (9th Cir 1984) 741 F2d 238 cert.den 469 US 1164;  Ijams v.  Bryan (D Kan unpub 3/18/77) 39 AFTR2d 1509, 77 USTC para 9321 ("No individual taxpayer or group of taxpayers can be allowed to so interpret the Constitution or the internal revenue rules and regulations as to avoid their application to him when he is employed, as millions of other Americans are employed, and receiving as pay Federal Reserve Notes which constitute legal tender and which pass daily from hand to hand in trade and commerce."); US v.  Wangrud (9th Cir 1976) 533 F2d 495 cert.den 429 US 818 ("We publish this opinion solely to make it clear that this argument has absolutely no merit."); Dorgan v. Kouba (ND Supm 1978) 274 NW2d 167;  Wilber v. CIR (8/31/87) TC Memo 1987-439 aff'd (8th Cir unpub 11/10/88) 871 F2d 1092(t) (perp called  Federal Reserve Notes "monetized debt units"); ("both the 16th Amendment and the IRC deal not with legal tender but with taxation of income") US v. Whitesel (6th Cir 1976) 543 F2d 1176 cert. denied 431 US 967; (perp refused to fill in or sign tax returns because would not admit that FRNs were money, asked court to order the Sec of the Treasury to announce equivalencies of US money in gold) Weninger v.  Simon (D Colo unpub 1/27/77) 40 AFTR2d 5595, 77 USTC para 9199;  (perp's "gold standard money theory is contrary to established law") LeBeau v.  Wisc.  Dept of Revenue (Wis.App  unpub 8/7/86) 133 Wis.2d 476(t), 394 NW2d 920(t) revw denied 133 Wisc.2d 483, 400 NW2d 471; Ijams v. Newberry (D Kan unpub 2/6/79) 43 AFTR2d 859, 79 USTC para 9306; Cavanaugh v. CIR (8/19/91) TC Memo 1991-407 aff'd (10th Cir unpub 2/9/93) 986 F2d 1426(t); Hartman v. Switzer (WD Penn 1974) 376 F.Supp 486; Spoelman v. Hummel (WD Mich unpub 5/26/89);  Cupp v. CIR (10/14/75) 65 Tax Ct 68 aff'd (3d Cir 1977) 559 F2d 1207; Merritt v. CIR (ED Tenn unpub 2/8/84) 53 AFTR2d 619, 84 USTC para  9258 (citing attempt to calculate a "discount" rate for counting dollars because not gold); ditto Mathes v. CIR (5th Cir  1978) 576 F2d 70 cert.den 440 US 911; ditto ("The appellant rationalized that he was entitled to use a money standard different from that applicable to the remainder of the citizenry, a standard which is totally devoid of reason and logic.")  US v. O.W. Ware (10th Cir 1979) 608 F2d 400; ditto Birkenstock v.  CIR (7th Cir 1981) 646 F2d 1185; ditto US v.  L.G. Anderson (10th Cir 1978) 584 F2d 369; ditto Jenny v. CIR (1/3/83) TC Memo 1983-1; ditto Butler v.  CIR (6/25/85) TC Memo 1985-308; ditto Bates v. US (7th Cir 1939) 108 F2d 407 cert.den 309 US 666; ditto Gajewski v. CIR (11/10/76) 67 Tax Ct 181 aff'd (8th Cir 1978) 578 F2d 1383;  ditto Richardson v. Sullivan (10th Cir unpub 6/18/93) 996 F2d 331(t) cert.den 510 US 1138 (wanted his Soc.Sec payments calculated in the number of current FRNs it would take to buy the gold that would have been represented by the pre-1972 dollar amounts); ditto (wanted the IRS to provide the "ratio of FRNs to statutory dollars") Trohimovich v. CIR (8/31/78) TC Memo 1978-346; same perp used his own conversion scale based on London gold prices. Trohimovich v. Director of Wash. Dept of Labor & Industries (1978) 21 Wash.App 243, 584 P2d 467; ditto (wanted to convert all taxes to 1/38 of the dollar amount, based on a 1972 Congressional revaluation of gold) Harwood v. US (D Mass 1977) 440 F.Supp 1019; ditto (tried to argue that their property tax should not have been calculated in FRNs but rather in gold (altho they surely could not have paid an assessment with gold) Baird v. County Assessors (Utah 1989) 779 P2d 676; ditto (perp claimed his large utility bill was satisfied with his smaller denomination funny money because this worthless funny money pretended to be payable in gold and silver) Cohn v. Tucson Electric Power Co. (1983) 138 Ariz 136, 673 P2d 334;   ditto (attempted to evade taxes by listing income only by categories of silver or gold coins possessed and thereby denying he had received any money) Brobeck v. CIR (7/8/80) TC Memo 1980-239 aff'd (3d Cir 1982) 681 F2d 804(t); ditto Cupp v. CIR (10/14/75) 65 Tax Ct 68 aff'd (3d Cir 1977) 559 F2d 1207; ditto US v. Vance (11th Cir 1984) 730 F2d 736 reh.den 736 F2d 1528; similarly Kearse v.  CIR (6/6/88) TC Memo 1988-249 aff'd (4th Cir 1989) 883 F2d 69(t); similarly Middlebrook v.  Miss.  State Tax Comm'n (Miss.Supm 1980) 387 So.2d 726; similarly US v. Brown (10th Cir 1979) 600 F2d 248 (tantamount to no tax return at all); ditto  Dorgan v. Miller (ND Supm 1980) 297 NW2d 418; ditto Dorgan v. Mercil (ND Supm 1977) 256 NW2d 114;   similarly Gajewski v. CIR (11/10/76) 67 Tax Ct 181 aff'd (8th Cir 1978) 578 F2d 1383 (attempts to evade taxes by listing income only by gold received - namely none); similarly Pouncy v. First Virginia Mortgage Co (4th Cir unpub 4/3/95) 51 F3d 267(t) (tried to evade repaying his mortgage on the grounds that the lender had lent him Federal Reserve Notes and not "real money"); ditto FDIC v.  Ostrowski (ND IL unpub 3/5/87); ditto Lindsay v. Mid-Continent Federal Savings & Loan Assn (D Kan unpub 4/24/95); ditto In re Strickland (Bankr., ND Ga 1995) 179 Bankr.Rptr 979; ditto Petricca v. Simpson v. DiNardo (D Mass 1994) 862 F.Supp 13 ("disingenuous and without merit:); ditto  DeVore v.  Federal Savings Bank of Dover (D Me 1993) 822 F.Supp 31 aff'd (1st Cir 1/3/94) 14 F3d 44(t); ditto Nixon v. Individual head of St Joseph Mortgage Co. (ND Ind 1985) 615 F.Supp 898; ditto Thorn v.  D & N Bank (WD Mich unpub 3/28/95); ditto Linne v.  Baker (DDC unpub 4/15/86) 57 AFTR2d 1392, 86 USTC para 9508 aff'd 264 US App DC 57, 826 F2d 129; ditto American Federal Savings Bank v. Peterson (Minn.App unpub 8/30/88); ditto Rene v. Citibank et al (EDNY 1999) 32 F.Supp.2d 539 ("The plaintiffs allege ... that they applied for a mortgage though Citibank for 'lawful money of the United States'.  Instead ... Citibank ... gave them a check.  The plaintiffs contend that this check did not represent legal tender because it was not backed by 'lawful money'....  The plaintiff's claims are not entirely novel.... First, there is no requirement that a loan must be made with legal tender before a court will deem it valid. .. Second the plaintiffs do not complain that they did not reap the benefits of using this check as a negotiable instrument, nor do they complain of not be able to access actual 'legal tender' by cashing the check."); similarly Ferguson Pontiac-GMAC Inc v. Henson (Okl.App 1994) 892 P2d 657; Rock County Savings & Loan Co. v. Tracy (Wis.App unpub 5/14/82) 107 Wis.2d 746(t), 322 NW2d 700(t); similarly Cauvel v. CIR (10/10/89) TC Memo 1989-547; Kauffman v. Citizens State Bank of Loyal (Wis.App 1981) 102 Wis.2d 528, 307 NW2;  similarly (tried to evade credit card debt on the pretext that the credit card company, a bank, had not actually given them 'lawful money' when covering their credit card purchases) MBNA America Bank v. Verschoot (Mont Supm unpub 4/30/98) 289 Mont 542 (t), 971 P2d 1248(t); similarly (dicta) Bates v. US (7th Cir 1939) 108 F2d 407 cert.den 309 US 666; (this ploy was also attempted by Terry Nichols, one of the Oklahoma City bombers, see Paul Glastris, Patriot Games, Washington Monthly, June 1995 p.23); similarly Skurdal v. State (Wyo.Supm 1985) 708 P2d 1241 (wanted to be paid his workmans compensation either in gold and silver or in 32 times the amount in FRNs); similarly Chermack v. Bjornson (1974) 302 Minn 213, 223 NW2d 659 cert.den 421 US 915 (altho his taxes had been based and paid in FRNs, wanted his tax refund paid in gold) Chermack v. Bjornson (1974) 302 Minn 213, 223 NW2d 659 cert.den 421 US 915; similarly Butler v. CIR (6/25/85) TC Memo 1985-308 (using biblical citations and recalculating the value of Fed Reserve Notes); similarly (used a ratio of 38 times) Harwood v. US (D Mass 1977) 440 F.Supp 1019; similarly Dunham v. CIR (2/9/98) TC Memo 1998-52 (recalculated the value of his FRNs as Zero because could not redeem for any amount of gold); Peth v. Breitzman (ED Wis 1985) 611 F.Supp 50 (this plaintiff later convicted for printing fake money orders); Mathes v. CIR (1986) 252 US App DC 131, 788 F2d 33 cert.den 479 US 972; (this position "has been regularly rejected") Zuger v. US (Fed Cir 1987) 834 F2d 1009; In re Hale (Bankr. ED Ark 1996) 196 Bankr.Rptr 122 ("This legalistic gibberish has been so repeatedly and soundly dismissed that the courts no longer analyze each issue, unless imposing sanctions for filing such frivolous babble."); US v. Kaun (ED Wis 1986) 633 F.Supp 406 aff'd 827 F2d 1144; Selders v. CIR (WD Tex unpub 2/14/78) 41 AFTR2d 1088, 42 AFTR2d 5736, 78 USTC para 9295; Barcroft v. CIR (1/2/97) TC Memo 1997-5 app.dismissed (5th Cir unpub 12/17/97) 134 F3d 369(t), 81 AFTR2d 453, 98 USTC para 50157; In re Angstadt (Bankr. ED Penn unpub 8/17/94); US v. Edelson (3d Cir 1979) 604 F2d 232; US v. Schmitz (9th Cir 1976) 542 F2d 782 cert.den 429 US 1105; Edgar v. Inland Steel Co. (7th Cir 1984) 744 F2d 1276; US v. House (WD Mich 1985) 617 F.Supp 232 aff'd 787 F2d 593(t);  (pretending a small bid or payment with gold or silver coin satisfies or exceeds a larger debt or offer in paper money) Pathway Financial v. Beach (1987) 162 IL.App.3d 1036, 516 NE2d 409; Elmore v.  McCammon (SD Tex 1986) 640 F.Supp 905; Federal Land Bank of Spokane v. Redwine (1988) 51 Wash.App 766, 755 P2d 822; Larned Production Credit Assn v. E&E Feeding (1982) 8 Kan.App.2d 263, 655 P2d 13;  Pingel v. Troy & Nichols Inc (1995) 51 Ark.App 41, 907 SW2d 757; Foret v.  Wilson (5th Cir 1984) 725 F2d 254; Bey v. Hutcherson (EDNY unpub 7/28/95); Howe v. Comm'r of Revenue (1987) 401 Mass 1005, 515 NE2d 1190;  (perp who was finally required to pay his taxes tried to do so with cashier's checks on which he had tried to impose his own restriction that they be cashed only for gold or silver; nullified because against public policy) Radue v. Zanaty (1975) 293 Alab 585, 308 So.2d 242; (perp went one step farther and argued that his worthless funny money was not only a payment of his utility bill but that the funny money in a small denomination satisfied a much larger debt because his funny money pretended to be payable in gold and silver) Cohn v. Tucson Electric Power Co. (1983) 138 Ariz 136, 673 P2d 334.  "A coin dollar is worth no more for the purposes of tender in payment of an ordinary debt than a note dollar.  The law has not made the note a standard of value any more than coin. .... As money, that is to say, as a medium of exchange, the law knows no difference between them." Thompson v. Butler (1878) 95 US (5 Otto) 694.    

rule
rule

 {This has long been a favorite hobby-horse of cranks and mountebanks, who argue that Federal Reserve Notes and other paper currency are not "real money" and therefore tax or counterfeiting laws cannot be applied to paper currency.  They usually refer to the US Constitution, Art.I, sec.10, which says that "No State shall ... coin money, ... make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts" -- but this clause is a restriction only of state govts and not of the federal govt; Merchants Nat'l Bank v.  US (1879) 101 US 1; Radue v. Zanaty (1975) 293 Alab 585, 308 So.2d 242; Gehring v. All Members of the State Legislature (1994) 269 Mont 373, 889 P2d 1164; DeLaRosa v. Agents for International Monetary Fund (ED Cal unpub 10/12/95) 76 AFTR2d 7134;  Lowry v. State (Alask.App 1982) 655 P2d 780; Chermack v. Bjornson (1974) 302 Minn 213, 223 NW2d 659 cert.den 421 US 915;    if a state govt attempts to issue its own currency it cannot compel anyone to accept its currency and an individual may validly refuse to accept a state's currency and insist on payment in US currency.  Veazie Bank v.  Fenno (1869) 75 US (8 Wall.)  533; the state govts are not required to use only gold or silver in transactions but are required to also use US currency.  Nixon v.  Phillipoff (D.  Ind.  1985) 615 F.Supp 890 aff'd 787 F2d 596; Chermack v.  Bjornson (1974) 302 Minn 213, 223 NW2d 659 cert.den 421 US 914; Cohn v. Tucson Electric Power Co. (1983) 138 Ariz 136, 673 P2d 334; Bey v. Hutcherson (EDNY unpub 7/28/95); (and states are not required to treat payment in gold or silver coins as superior in face value to FRNs) Howe v. Comm'r of Revenue (1987) 401 Mass 1005, 515 NE2d 1190;  (states are not required to accept funny money that pretends to be paid someday in gold) Dack v. State (Ind.App 1983)  457 NE2d 600; Nichols v. Comm'r of Revenue (Minn. Tax Ct unpub 1/16/84); State v. Schimmels (Wis.App unpub 5/23/84) 119 Wis.2d 902(t), 350 NW2d 743(t).  The Constitution, Art.  I, sec. 8, cl.5, gives the Congress the power "to coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin".  This gives the Congress a power denied to the state govts.  Legal Tender Cases (1870) 79 US (12 Wall.) 457; Houston v.  Moore (1820) 18 US (5 Wheat.) 1; Larned Production Credit Assn v. E&E Feeding (1982) 8 Kan.App.2d 263, 655 P2d 1; N.J. Wilson v. US (D Colo unpub 5/5/98) 81 AFTR2d 2240 suit dism with prejudice (D Colo unpub 8/21/98) 82 AFTR2d 6239.  The Congress may declare paper money to be legal tender, legally acceptable for any transaction (as it has done with FRNs in 31 USC sec. 5103), and the Congress is not required to have that paper money consistently represent a fixed amount of either gold or silver.  Legal Tender Cases (1870) 79 US (12 Wall.) 457; Juillard v.  Greenman (1884) 110 US 448;  DeLaRosa v. Agents for International Monetary Fund (ED Cal unpub 10/12/95) 76 AFTR2d 7134 (*"The US Congress has the power to make anything it wishes legal tender.  Congress is not limited to gold or silver."); ditto Lowry v. State (Alask.App 1982) 655 P2d 780.  The Supreme Court, back when gold and silver coins were still the medium of exchange, said that the metallic content of the coins themselves was not the money but that " the gold or silver  thing we call a dollar is in no sense a standard of a dollar.  It is representative of it." Legal Tender Cases (1870) 79 US (12 Wall) 457 at 552; Ling Su Fan v.  US (1910) 218 US 302 at 310-311; Bates v. US (7th Cir 1939) 108 F2d 407 cert.den 309 US 666; Jersey City & Bergen RR Co.  v.  Morgan (1895) 160 US 288 (silver dollar's value not affected by loss of weight from abrasion); Gajewski v. CIR (11/10/76) 67 Tax Ct 181 aff'd (8th Cir 1978) 578 F2d 1383; Levin v. Dare (Bankr., SD Ind 1996) 203 Bankr.Rptr 137.    One historic reason for this was that, at the time the Constitution was written, no significant sources of gold or silver were known to exist in North America (the first US gold nugget was found in 1799, and the first US silver mine was discovered in 1839), so that European govts could completely manipulate an American currency based on gold or silver.  In its earliest years the Congress did not attempt to mint its own silver or gold coins but merely adopted certain European coins, or occasionally melted and restruck European coins; the restriction on the states in the Constitution essentially meant that if a state government wanted to use something other than US currency its only option was to use existing (European) coins of a known (and Congressionally regulated)  value.  Even now, a return to gold as legal tender would mean that the value of US money could be pushed and pulled from a distance by Nelson Mandela, whose country of South Africa is the leading gold producer.  The Constitutional clause that Congress would "regulate the value" of US money further suggests that paper money, or at least non-intrinsic coinage was intended, because the value of coinage that is intrinsically valuable on the basis of its metallic content would automatically be regulated by the international market prices of the metals rather than by Congress. The significance of gold and of the utilization of a gold standard in US monetary history has been much misunderstood  and exaggerated; cf.  K.W. Dam, From the Gold Clause to the Gold Commission, 50 Univ. of Chicago Law Rev. 504 (1983), A.V. Pai, Congress and the Constitution: The Legal Tender Act of 1862, 77 Ore.L.Rev. 535 (1998),  and E.  Vieira, The Forgotten Role of the Constitution in Monetary Law, 2 Texas Review of Law & Politics 77 (1997); L.D. Solomon, Local Currency: A legal and policy analysis, 5 Kan.  J.  of Law & Public Policy 59 (1996).    One purpose of the 1933 Gold Repeal was to spare debtors, of whom there were a lot in 1933, from being whiplashed with increased prices as a result of the devaluation of  the US dollar. Rudoph v. Steinhardt (11th Cir 1983) 721 F2d 1324. }  

rule
rule

Funny money:  Issuing phony negotiable instruments: Under the guise of "certified money orders" with instructions and small print that this is "pretend money". US v. Mikolajczyk (5th Cir 1998) 137 F3d 237 reh.den 144 F3d 53 cert.den (as Koehler, Slater and O'Neill) _US_, 119 S.Ct 250; ditto US v. Moser (5th Cir 1997) 123 F3d 813 cert. denied 522 US 1035; ditto (Leroy Schweitzer cautioned his followers that "Leroy checks" would be rejected by banks and could get them arrested and they must use his "proof packages" to induce suckers to accept the checks) US v. J.V. Wells (4th Cir 1998) 163 F3d 889;  (even though, from the fine print, these did not fit the legal definition of checks or money orders because not an unconditional promise to pay) Ford Motor Credit Co. v. All Ways Inc. (1996) 249 Neb 923, 546 NW2d 807; (scheme described in detail, instructions even told users this was "pretend money", prosecuted for various kinds of bank fraud and for postal fraud for mailing a "certified money order" to a creditor) US v. Moser (5th Cir 1997) 123 F3d 813 cert. denied 522 US 1035; (similarly with funny money that says it will be payable at some unknown future date when the US resumes using gold, the perp admitted that the paper was worthless at the time he used it for purchases, and this is sufficient to prove fraudulent intent) State v. Hernandez (La.App 1987) 503 So.2d 1181; (it is not necessary that the govt or bank go through all the real or imagined rituals trying to cash the funny money, it is sufficient that the instrument does not meet the legal criteria for a proper financial instrument for it to be held worthless) State v. Hansen (Minn.App unpub 2/26/91); similarly (sufficient that the instrument could not be collected via "normal banking channels") General Motor Acceptance Corp v. Visocky (Kan.App 1988) 758 P2d 753; similarly (cannot pretend that using worthless funny money is "payment in kind" for bona fide loan or debt involving real credit or merchandise or US paper money) Ferguson Pontiac-GMAC Inc v. Henson (Okl.App 1994) 892 P2d 657;  (Montana Freemen’s "lien drafts" are "essentially worthless" and using one to obtain merchandise is fraud) US v. Greathouse (D.Kan unpub 2/5/97); (Montana Freemen’s purported  money orders were worthless and used a bank account number which had once belonged to the federal district court in Montana - it had been created to hold an unnecessary $100 bond in a civil suit filed by a Freemen long ago; cf. Billings Gazette, 3/20/98 -  and which had never held more than a few hundred dollars but which had already been closed because the Freemen had attempted to write checks against it, the mayor who tried to deposit these money orders into the township's bank account was removed from office pending criminal prosecution ) Klock v. Town of Cascade (1997) 284 Mont 167, 943 P2d 1262; (the "Leroy Checks" - whether calling themselves checks or money orders or certificates or warrants, and they usually had more than one title on the same document - used by the Freemen and the similar checks used by Elizabeth Broderick had printed on the face  and just above the signature - usually rubberstamped - of the "issuer", the words "without recourse" -- in legitimate financial transactions this might be written on the back of a third-party check by an intermediate payee, but with this funny money it was evidently intended to make the check uncollectible and worthless from its commencement -- it did not save them from prosecution; C. Connolly, "Oddities on Checks Help County Office Pinpoint Phonies,"  Omaha [Neb.] World-Herald, 11/6/95 p.9sf; "Fight with Feds Spills into Utah", Salt Lake Tribune, 1/25/96 p.B1 -- indeed, UCC sec. 3-414 does not allow the drawer of a check to evade liability this way.   It is possible that these mountebanks hit upon the ploy of calling their worthless paper "warrants" because of an earlier case involving a forged municipal warrant, in which the court expounded at length how  this particular crime was very difficult to prosecute because warrants are legally distinguishable from every other sort of  negotiable or financial instrument, People v.  Norwood (1972) 26 Cal.App.3d 148, 103 Cal.Rptr 7).  The same sort of worthless funny money has been labeled as a "Public Office Money Certificate"(PMOC) and carries some text that pretends that a govt office, such as the Post Office or the Treasury, will accept and cash it.  Cohn v. Tucson Electric Power Co. (1983) 138 Ariz 136, 673 P2d 334; Pyne v. Meese (1985) 172 Cal.App.3d 392, 218 Cal.Rptr 87; US v. Grosshans (6th Cir 1987) 821 F2d 1247 cert.den 484 US 987;  (sometimes claiming to be payable by a state govt agency) State v. Taylor (La.App 1986) 495 So.2d 996 writ denied (La.Supm 1987) 499 So.2d 84 cert.denied 484 US 812;  (it is "a contrived promissory note with no real value.... It is tendered as a promise to pay when a 'proper' official determination is made as to what type of currency has been authorized as a substitute for gold and silver" [essentially an impossible future date]) Federal Land Bank of Spokane v. Parson (1989) 116 Ida 545, 777 P2d 1218; Parson v. State (1987) 113 Ida 421, 745 P2d 300; Becker v. Dept of Registration (1987) 159 IL.App.3d 796, 513 NE2d 5; ditto (funny money not only required that determination but also that it be presented within 90 days!) Dack v. State (Ind.App 1983)  457 NE2d 600; ditto Nichols v. Comm'r of Revenue (Minn. Tax Ct unpub 1/16/84);  (perp admitted that his POMC was worthless, at least at the time he used them) State v. Hernandez (La.App 1987) 503 So.2d 1181;   Passing a phony "certified money order" does not satisfy a debt and constitutes criminal fraud or theft of the merchandise. Nasir v. Anderson (D NJ unpub 8/25/97); ditto US v.  Jacobs (2d Cir 1997) 117 F3d 82; ditto US v.  Moser (5th Cir 1997) 123 F3d 813 cert.den (12/15/97) 522 US 1035; ditto  US v.  Van Shutters (6th Cir  1998) 163 F3d 331 cert.denied _US_, 119 S.Ct 1480; ditto US v. Stockheimer [& Peth] (7th Cir 1998) 157 F3d 1082 (includes photocopies of Peth's funny money); ditto State v. Taylor (La.App 1986) 495 So.2d 996 writ denied (La.Supm 1987) 499 So.2d 84 cert.denied 484 US 812;  (similarly not a payment of  taxes) Federal Land Bank of Spokane v. Parson (1989) 116 Ida 545, 777 P2d 1218; ditto Niles v. Trawick (1986) 99 Pa.Commnw. 170, 512 A2d 808; (similarly not a payment of license fees or fines) Parson v. State (1987) 113 Ida 421, 745 P2d 300; ditto Becker v. Dept of Registration (1987) 159 IL.App.3d 796, 513 NE2d 5; ditto Dack v. State (Ind.App 1983)  457 NE2d 600; ditto State v. Abrams (1984) 209 Mt 508, 680 P2d 585; ditto State v. Dennis (Wis.App unpub 12/13/83) 117 Wis.2d 782(t), 343 NW2d 830(t); ditto County of Dane v. Kreyer (Wis.App unpub 4/27/82) 107 Wis.2d 744(t), 321 NW2d 367(t);  (similarly tendering such funny money does not constitute paying for a purchase and the merchandise must either be returned or regarded as stolen) Ford Motor Credit Co. v. All Ways Inc. (1996) 249 Neb 923, 546 NW2d 807; Ferguson Pontiac-GMAC Inc v. Henson (Okl.App 1994) 892 P2d 657;  State v. Hernandez (La.App 1987) 503 So.2d 1181; (ditto for phony "certified bankers cheque") Pouncy v. First Virginia Mortgage Co (4th Cir unpub 4/3/95) 51 F3d 267(t); ditto Ferguson Pontiac-GMAC Inc v. Henson (Okl.App 1994) 892 P2d 657 (Peth would issue a worthless CMO and then "pay" it with an equally worthless CBC); ditto US v.  Stockheimer [& Peth] (7th Cir 1998) 157 F3d 1082 (Peth's CMOs and CBCs both said only that they'd pay according to [sec. 20 of]  the Coinage Act of 1792 [a law and section no longer in effect]  "from the time of the official determination of the substance of said money" [since that act and section had been completely repealed by 1982 this actually meant "never"] or in "credit money", when presented to Peth but giving a P.O. Box address); Federal Land Bank of Spokane v. Parson (1989) 116 Ida 545, 777 P2d 1218; Parson v. State (1987) 113 Ida 421, 745 P2d 300; (this imposed a condition upon payment and therefore the check did not qualify as a negotiable instrument) Bank One of Columbus v. Sparks (Ohio App. unpub 3/15/96); (ditto, the reference to the Coinage Act is a stipulation not contemplated by the UCC and the check is not a negotiable instruments and the debts were never discharged) Ford Motor Credit Co. v. All Ways Inc. (1996) 249 Neb 923, 546 NW2d 807;  (ditto for phony "certified IRS sight drafts", described by the originator to a co-conspirator as a "charade" with the warning not to show it to accountants or lawyers) US v.  Wiley (5th Cir 1992) 979 F2d 365;  (ditto for "Public Office Money Certificate" even with the argument that FRNs are no better) US v. Van Skiver (D Kan unpub 12/13/90) 71A AFTR2d 4063, 91 USTC  para 50017 aff'd US v. Kettler [& Van Skiver](10th Cir unpub 6/3/91) 934 F2d 326(t); (tendering a "Public Office Money Certificate" as payment for car registration meant the registration fee had not been paid, and the perp could later be charged with driving an unregistered vehicle) State v. Dennis (Wis.App unpub 12/13/83) 117 Wis.2d 782(t), 343 NW2d 830(t); (using such funny money is evidence in an unrelated case - involving tax evasion - that this perp was not acting in good faith and had fraudulent intent) US v. Grosshans (6th Cir 1987) 821 F2d 1247 cert.den 484 US 987;   (ditto for worthless "sight drafts" issued by "Common Title Bond and Trust" with instructions that "This draft is redeemable in a certificate of credit at full face value when presented to the issuer at his place of residence",  legitimately a sight draft is an unconditional instrument for immediate payment usually associated with a letter of credit but here were entirely bogus and added an explicit restriction that it would be paid only after a future - and impossible - event) First National Bank & Trust Co.  v. Miller (1989) 233 Neb 434, 446 NW2d 11; American Federal Savings Bank v. Peterson (Minn.App unpub 8/30/88); ditto (convicted of theft by swindle which does not require the state to prove that the sight draft is totally worthless) State v.  Keeney (Minn.App unpub 10/25/88); similarly (sufficient to reject this funny money because it cannot be collected via "normal banking channels" and the govt or bank is not required to do extraordinary or peculiar things to try to collect) General Motor Acceptance Corp v. Visocky (Kan.App 1988) 758 P2d 753;  ditto Federal Land Bank of St. Paul v.  Brakke (No.Dak.  Supm  1988) 417 NW2d 380; ditto State v. Hansen (Minn.App unpub 2/26/91); similarly (convicted of counterfeit obligations for attempting to pass Leroy Checks even though no bank had actually cashed any of them) US v. Rudd (9th Cir unpub 2/17/99) 172 F3d 60(t);  (ditto for "fractional reserve note" which appears to be another IOU signed by the debtor) Federal Land Bank of Spokane v. Parsons (1990) 118 Ida 324, 796 P2d 533; similarly Apex Financial Corp v.  DeRiemer (Del.Super.  unpub 6/22/87) app.dism (Del.Supm  unpub 8/4/87) 530 A2d 673(t) app.dism (Del.Supm unpub 8/24/88) 547 A2d 633(t); (the fractional reserve note was described by its originator as a joke;  NY Times, 12/7/87 p.22);  similarly ("certified promissory money note" not a payment of mortgage) In re Walton (Bankr.  ND Ohio 1987) 77 Bankr.Rptr 617; similarly State v.  Keeney (Minn.App unpub 10/25/88); similarly Federal Land Bank of St. Paul v.  Brakke (No.Dak.  Supm 1988) 417 NW2d 380;  similarly (using fictitious warrants to post bail for two prisoners and to redeem property seized by the govt, prosecuted as a criminal conspiracy to counterfeit non-federal securities and to defraud a bank, under 18 USC 513 & 1344, sentenced to five years) US v. Ries (9th Cir unpub 1/22/97) 106 F3d 410(t) cert.den 521 US 1126 (subsequently sentenced to another 7 years for his part in a plot to stalk and brutally beat the county recorder who refused to accept his bogus liens; Sacramento Bee, 10/30/97 p.B3); attempted to pay court fine with "public money note" and was sent to jail.  Moore v. Surles (ED NC 1987) 673 F.Supp 1398; it is not a defense to a charge of fraud that a bank had cashed the money order if the bank subsequently found that it was worthless, nor is it a defense to try to blame the bank for refusing to cash the dubious money order at first sight because this is not essential to the crime of fraud.  US v.  Moser (5th Cir 1997) 123 F3d 813 cert.den (12/15/97) 522 US 1035; a common scam by the Montana Freemen and others was to overpay a debt or a purchase with a fake check for double or more the proper amount and demand change in real money, this was often done with purported payments to the IRS but the govt successfully prosecuted this under the False Claims Act (the overage being refunded being the false claim) US v. Ward (9th Cir unpub 5/13/99); US v. Napier (6th Cir unpub 12/29/98) 172 F3d 874(t); US v. Rosnow (8th Cir 1992) 977 F2d 399 cert.den (as Dewey) 507 US 990; similarly in the case of Horace Groff, see Lancaster [Penn.] New Era, 21 June 1999;   (a non-political bank swindle, fabricating phony checks from foreign banks for deposit in his account and immediately withdrawing the pretended amounts) Prushinowski v.  US (SDNY 1983) 562 F.Supp 151 aff'd (2d Cir unpub 1983) 742 F2d 1436(t); (similarly a non-political fabricated cashier's check, modeled on a real one, was not made immune from prosecution because the perp labeled it with the name of a non-existent bank and with some other inconspicuous anomalies) US v.  Van Shutters (6th Cir  1998) 163 F3d 331 cert.denied _US_, 119 S.Ct 1480;    {the criminal laws against counterfeiting US currency -- which would include Federal Reserve Notes -- have existed since the beginning of the Republic;  in 1984 Congress added 18 USC sec. 513 which expanded the counterfeiting law to include the fabrication of state and municipal securities, money orders, travelers checks, cashier's checks, or corporation stock certificates; and on 30 Sept 1996, Congress added 18 USC sec. 514 which expanded the counterfeiting laws to include "fictitious obligations" - the legislative history (Sen.Hrg 104-680) explicitly referred to some of the funny money mentioned in this paragraph and included photostats of Leroy Schweitzer's "lien drafts", "comptroller warrants", and "certified bankers checks", which all claimed to emanate from the "Treasurer united [sic] States of America / Redeemable at office of Post Master / Payable on Sight" - which resemble  checks,  travelers checks,  money orders or other financial instruments even though using a name or design which is not already used by legitimate financial instruments.}; in an odd case, submitting a good check to the IRS in only partial payment of a tax debt exceeding $30Gs with the check in the amount of only $1200 and with the UCC-type accord and satisfaction written by the perp on the back of the check that endorsement constitutes a satisfaction of all tax debts to date, held that the IRS is not "commercial", therefore the UCC does not control its operations, and the IRS cashing the check does not satisfy his remaining debt (26 USC 7121 & 7122 provide very specific procedures for the negotiating of a settlement). Bear v. CIR (12/3/92) TC Memo 1992-690 aff'd (9th Cir 3/24/94) 19 F3d 26(t), 73 AFTR2d 1611; similarly Kadunc v.  CIR (2/24/97) TC Memo 1997-92;  -- on the other hand, a Freeman adherent, nailed for passing a Leroy Schweitzer "certified bankers check comptroller warrant" (he attempted to pay his court fines with it with an enormous "overpayment" that would require more than a thousand dollars change in real money!)  argued he should not be prosecuted for passing a bad check because this Leroy Schweitzer document does not constitute a check because not drawn on a bank and not a clear promise or order to pay, held that it did because it named the "Treasurer united States of America office of PostMaster" as its bank (even though nothing with that precise name exists) and it appears to instruct the "PostMaster"  to "pay to" the recipient on sight.  State v. McNeil (Mont.Supm  9/17/98); (this funny money purported to be approved by a federal agency and therefore an enhanced penalty was justified) US v. Switzer et al (9th Cir unpub 10/5/98);  and similarly ("The defendants argue that their conduct did not constitute mail fraud because their claims about the utility of [their] Certified Money Orders was so preposterous that no reasonable person would have acted on them.") US v. Stockheimer [& Peth] (7th Cir 1998) 157 F3d 1082; (this sort of argument backfired, as evidence of the defendants' fraudulent intent) US v. Switzer et al (9th Cir unpub 10/5/98); (knowledge that this funny money had already been rejected by banks was sufficient evidence of fraudulent intent in subsequent efforts to pass it) US v. J.V. Wells (4th Cir 1998) 163 F3d 889;     {Although the mountebanks claim to be fluent in the Uniform Commercial Code, often erroneously  thinking it is a federal law and that it applies to court and IRS proceedings, their funny money does not begin to meet the definitions of "money" set forth in the UCC.  The UCC 1-201(24) defines Money as "a medium of exchange authorized or adopted by domestic or foreign government as a part of its currency."  Although this is more expansive than just legal tender (deliberately more expansive, according to the UCC official commentary), it must have the approval of a govt.  In fact, the funny money issued by Peth, Schweitzer, et al., contains a reference to the same UCC 1-201(24) but cites it  for the expression "credit money", which does not actually appear anywhere in the UCC and apparently is meaningless; e.g. US v. Moser (5th Cir 1997) 123 F3d 813 cert. denied 522 US 1035 (in which the originator even called it "pretend money"), and Ford Motor Credit Co. v. All Ways Inc. (1996) 249 Neb 923, 546 NW2d 807 (the mention of "credit money" "eliminates any possibility  that the money order" is valid).  ditto (tried to pay his mortgage with a freeman type check at an enormous overpayment with a demand for a refund of the difference) Bank One of Columbus v. Sparks (Ohio App unpub 3/15/96)).  Similarly, for checks, drafts, and the like, other than currency,  the UCC 3-104 regards all of them as "negotiable instruments" but only if "payable upon demand or at a definite time" and in a "sum certain", and almost invariably the funny money indicates payment only after some (impossible) contingent event, such as the resurrection of the Republic of Texas or the re-enactment of the 1792 Coinage Act, and then only in something of unpredictable (or non-existent) value, such as "credit money".  As these documents do not contain an unconditional promise or order to pay, and they do not promise to pay in real money, they do not qualify as "negotiable instruments" according to the UCC.  Ford Motor Credit Co. v. All Ways Inc. (1996) 249 Neb 923, 546 NW2d 807; Bank One of Columbus v. Sparks (Ohio App unpub 3/15/96).  (It should not have to be explained that debts or purchases are not "paid" simply because a bogus check has been tendered - and it would be regarded as bogus if it is not convertible to US currency  in a normal way, without exotic or extensive exertions.   Although the mountebanks pretend that their funny money cannot be refused, or if refused that the transaction becomes a gift, UCC 2-511 makes it clear that any sort of instrument can be refused and legal tender insisted upon.)}  {Recently there have been several impressive convictions for various kinds of fraud, including postal fraud and bank fraud, for trafficking in "Leroy checks".  These include Margaret Elizabeth Broderick (who called herself "the Lien Queen") sentenced in March 1997 to 16 years on 26 counts of fraud (she had boasted of accumulating millions in real money which was stashed someplace and refused to refund it even for a lighter sentence so the govt was determined that she should not see that money again); Douglas Fitzgerald sentenced in October 1998 to 30 months and $30G in fines; Barry Switzer & Julian Cheney, two associates of Broderick, in October 1998 to five years each; Russell Dean Landers, of the Montana Freemen, in August 1997 to 30  years for fraud and other offenses (his use of bogus liens as "paper terrorism" earned him the harsh sentence reserved for terrorists); Leonard Peth, alias L.A. Pethahiah, sentenced to 8 years for issuing phony money orders;  Franklin Johnston & Jerry Lyn Wilkins, founders of "USA First" front for distributing Peth's worthless money orders, 8 years; Richard McLaren of  the Republic of Texas sentenced to 12 years just for his funny money (his separate conviction for kidnaping didn't help); David Lee Ries, sentenced to five years for making $13 Million in funny money and  trying to use it to bail some associates out of  jail - subsequently sentenced to another 7 years for plotting to have a county recorder beaten nearly to death for rejecting his bogus liens;  etc.    An interesting argument, not yet used by the govt, is that whoever claims that their funny money actually has value should be made to pay the corresponding income tax for it; cf.  Andrews v.  CIR (2d Cir 1943) 135 F2d 314 cert.den 320 US 748; and, although ultimately worthless, bogus checks can be counted as proceeds in prosecution for a money laundering scheme.  US v.  Akintobi (9th Cir 1998) 159 F3d 401; and similarly the undistributed bogus checks found in possession of a conspiracy can be counted toward the magnitude of the fraud being prosecuted.  US v.  J.V. Wells (4th Cir 1998) 163 F3d 889. }  

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