Liberty Dollar “Larcenists” Land in Lockup

liberty coinsSome of you have probably never heard of Liberty Dollars, in fact I myself am pretty skeptical of this odd currency that is backed by silver, yet is only distributed and exchangeable through a single institution (calling it a bank would be a stretch).

Not so for Daniel and Shane Buczek, both of Derby, New York. The two men are believed to be the first people to be charged for passing Liberty Dollars as real currency when they tried to buy beer with them at a at a Buffalo Sabres game (the vendors rejected the coins, shock). However it seems the two got a little pushy with vendors and the cops came to see what the deal was (via Hit & Run).

That’s when Shane Buczek allegedly pulled out a badge and falsely identified himself as a federal agent. After getting both their asses thrown in jail, the Secret Service came to check things out, determined that indeed these guys were probably a little drunk and stupid and now the charges have been lowered from felonies to attempted petit larceny and misdemeanor criminal impersonation.

Now, I’m not one to defend these boneheads from the law for trying to pass off Liberty Dollars (or Liberties as they are often called) as real currency to unsuspecting businesses who have no idea how to convert them to more accepted federal reserve notes. However, the story also included some interesting blurbage about how widely accepted they actually are:

[Karl J. Reile of Elma, the regional distributor of Liberties] identified several area businesses – mostly in the Southtowns – as being among those that accept Liberties. Two of the businessmen he named told a reporter they accept Liberties.

“About 20 of my regular customers use them. They pay me with silver, and they accept silver as change,” said Daniel Hyman, owner of the Red Apple convenience store on Route 78 in Strykersville. “With inflation and government deficits, I see more and more people who don’t trust paper anymore. Eventually, I hope the banks will accept Liberties for deposits.”

“We take it at par with dollars,” said Shawn Clawges, owner of Opener’s Grille, a restaurant on Seneca Street in East Aurora. “They’re a pretty coin, and they’re backed by silver. It’s a commodity that’s going up in value, unlike the U.S. dollar.”

So the lesson here is check with your local Liberties distributor for where you can spend them, because while the U.S. dollar may very well be going in the shitter, it’s probably not worth ending up in the klink over a beer.

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

  1. An interesting post that appears in the beginning to denounce the authenticity of Liberty Dollars and then supports them at the end. There are over 40 legal currencies used in the United States today and Liberty Dollars happen to be among the most popular, being featured on the Learning Channel and approved by the Secret Service and Federal Reserve.

    The currency was designed to be used outside the bank, thereby stimulating the local economy and limiting the possibilities of inflation and corruption that we see all too often with today’s federal reserve notes.

    It is a voluntary currency, however, and attempting to force a business owner to accept it is simply wrong. To learn more, visit

  2. I use the liberty dollar in boston, and although it’s not widely accepted (hey, it’s voluntary) I do get some places that love it. In fact, a couple of places I frequent, I’ll sometimes get complimentary stuff with a meal or others will ask if I have more. It’s all a matter of choice. Isn’t that what libertarians like?

    Plus, in 2 years, silver have got up relative to the dollar by ~ 50% (from about 6.50 to 9.50) Granted this fluctuates, but one has to ask, is it the value of silver fluctuating or the value of the dollar fluctuating?

    So, the choice is yours. Paper or silver. The good thing about silver in my book, is I don’t have to worry about shmucks printing it and devaluing it any further.

    As Jeff said, the only reason this was a problem was the drunk bastard tried to force the guy to accept. The same would have happened if he forcefully tried to pay with all pennies.

  3. My (imcomplete) understanding from the last time I read up on this subject is that you can pay for goods with any currency you like, as long as both parties to the transaction agree. The catch is that the IRS considers it a barter trade and expects the U.S. cash value of the non-U.S. currency to be reported as income.

  4. They’re actually quite widely accepted up where I live… the free state project has done a lot of interesting things here in NH.

  5. I like the Liberty Dollar idea. I have about $50 worth sitting on my desk, but I don’t use it. I entertained the idea of becoming a “Liberty Associate,” but decided to wait it out and see how the program develops. I think it needs a lot more investment and infrastructure to achieve their (NORAD’s) goal of defeating the Fed. Good luck to all involved though, it’s truly American (and Libertarian.)

  6. Liberty Dollars are way cool. I’ve used them at a number of places. Always be sure to alert the business that their bank will likely not take it, as it is silver, and always offer a business card so you can come buy it back from them should they get buyers remorse. These two pre-emptive moves eliminate the two toughest objections you’ll face as a Liberty associate, and they make you look good!

    To learn more about the Liberty Dollar: