U.S. District Judge David K. Winder has quietly dismissed an indictment returned by a federal grand jury against the entire Federal Reserve System.
The four-count indictment handed up Wednesday accused the Federal Reserve of violating the Constitution by issuing money that is not backed by gold and silver.
The notion that currency must be backed by gold and silver has long and fondly been held by a segment of the Utah population.
During the Nixon administration the requirement that precious metals must be held in reserve to guarantee the nation's paper money supply was dropped. The move freed the domestic prices of gold and silver, allowing them to rise to world market levels.
The 23-member juries normally sit for 18 months and consider cases presented by the U.S. attorney. But they may also meet privately and discuss anything.
The jury in the Fed case apparently did so and the legal minimum of 16 supported the indictment, sources said.
The attempt to bring criminal charges against the Fed was a total surprise and embarrassment to Utah's law officers, who made it public Saturday after refusing to sign it and having it struck down by Judge Winder.
The motion was granted Friday when the judge ruled the document was "defective." He said it did not name anyone suspected of a criminal act and was not supported by the evidence.
U. S. Attorney Brent Ward said the jurors drew up the indictment "without the knowledge, participation or consent of me or any of my assistants and contrary to our repeated advice."