Friday, April 02, 2010

Gospel Tracts In Form of $1M Bills Do Not Violate Counterfeiting Laws

Darrel Rundus' Great News Network is a Christian evangelizing organization. Its most successful Gospel tract is one made to look like U.S. currency in the form of a $1 million dollar bill (a denomination of currency not issued by the United States). On the reverse of the bill is an inscription that includes: "The million dollar question. Will you go to heaven!" In Rundus v. United States, (ND TX, March 30, 2010), a Texas federal district court held that the Gospel tract does not violate U.S. counterfeiting laws (18 USC 474 and 475) because it neither poses a risk of fraud nor does it pose a risk of facilitating would-be counterfeiters. The court went on to hold that Secret Service agents violated the 4th Amendment in 2006 by seizing the million dollar bills from GNN's offices without a warrant or valid consent. It ordered return of the seized property. Liberty Counsel yesterday issued a press release announcing the decision. (See prior related posting.)