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Kauffman Ousted in Free State Shakeup 

Outspoken and controversial Libertarian leader Jeremy Kauffman is out at the Free State Project (FSP), booted from the board over his refusal to tone down his online trolling, including his promotion of a racist social media feed.

Kauffman, the mercurial Libertarian Party candidate for Senate in 2022, was voted off the board after weeks of tension with other members, like Carla Gericke and Free State founder Jason Sorens. Kauffman forced the vote after the other members tried to ease him out. In the end, the FSP board decided it could not tolerate his trolling in their name.

“In order for us to function as an organization, it is absurd that someone could say that our names as a board should be attached to anonymous accounts because that’s your whim then,” Gericke told Kauffman during the meeting in which he was voted off the board.

The video of Kauffman’s now final board meeting posted online depicted a visibly agitated Kauffman arguing to stay on the board despite his repeated refusal to give up his communications role for the FSP. And he repeatedly refused to adhere to standards the board was trying to set for him as a representative of the cause. Gericke was seen getting angry with Kauffman in the video. She said one of the final straws was Kauffman’s refusal to stop using FSP social media accounts to amplify white supremacists after being given a new written directive.

“You then totally sh*t the bed by doing 14 crazy things,” Gericke said.

Sorens is the political scientist who developed the Free State Project in the early 2000s. He told Kauffman that his social media presence hurts the FSP with donors and the general public.

“One of our biggest donors, perhaps our biggest donor ever, has said that he will not donate as long as you’re on the board, and he’s also said he’s not going to donate to the Free State documentary,” Sorens told Kauffman. “Your personal messaging affects our organization.”

Kauffman’s social media activity included recent posts supporting the former apartheid South African government that discriminated against Black South Africans, retweeting white supremacist accounts, as well as posts about Jews controlling the world and supporting violence against transgender people

Kauffman was in charge of the FSP communications, the group’s Twitter/X accounts, and accounts for the state Libertarian Party. 

Kauffman blamed Sorens for the ouster in a statement provided to NHJournal, saying the man who came up with the FSP concept is a liberal who is trying to remake the organization to appeal to the left. 

“The removal was led by Jason Sorens, a Hillary Clinton-supporting left-libertarian who wants to force small New Hampshire towns to build multi-family affordable housing. Jason Sorens held a struggle session against me that was straight out of the socialist playbook,” Kauffman claimed.

“One key allegation was that it was racist to assert that South Africa is much worse off today than it was decades ago, as well as that it’s racist to discuss differences in crime rates. This decision was opposed by nearly every NHLA-supported Republican, including liberty leadership. It’s vastly out of step with where the movement is as a whole, which is why it had to be done in such an underhanded way and why the decision was nearly universally derided on social media.

“I’m still optimistic about the future of liberty in New Hampshire and will continue to recruit right-wing libertarians to move here.”

One of the people who pushed to get Kauffman off the board was Jim Harper, a New Hampshire Libertarian and fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Kauffman’s reckoning had been a long time coming, Harper said, as many Libertarians were tired of being associated with Kauffman’s brand.

“There’s sort of the activist and the normals, and I’m one of the normals. I do have opinions, and I don’t like anyone to sully my ideology,” Harper said.

The Libertarian movement in New Hampshire and nationally has been split between what Harper calls the “normal” Libertarians and a noisy, right-wing “Trumpy” fringe of which Kauffman is part, Harper said.

“It’s the ‘Trumpy’ style Libertarian where they gravitate toward outrage and where it’s more important to snub the powers that be than present a positive image to grow the party,” Harper said.

Kauffman and his followers are great at getting noticed but little else, Harper said.

“They’re excited about themselves because they get a lot of attention and count their Twitter following, but anybody in the business knows it’s poor politics,” Harper said.

In the turn to reactionary and, at times, racist messages, the Free State Project has become tarred as being part of a sinister attempt to take over state government, Harper said. People who claim they are part of the FSP even backed the highly ridiculed secession movement.

“That secession stuff is how you make yourself look ridiculous,” Harper said.

Harper hopes the FSP can now refocus on its mission, which is not about a radical right-wing takeover of the state. He explained that the goal isn’t a takeover but to bring enough Libertarians into the state to nudge Democrats and Republicans toward embracing more freedom-focused public policy.

“Hopefully, it will get back to its roots, bringing normal liberty-inclined people to the state,” Harper said. 

Freeman Sentenced to 8 Years for Bitcoin Scheme

Ian Freeman walked into the courtroom Monday to a standing ovation from his libertarian supporters and walked out in handcuffs, facing eight years in federal prison.

What led the former Free State Project leader and self-described peace activist to a prison sentence for the better part of a decade? According to Judge Joseph LaPlante, it was Freeman’s faith in his own libertarian/voluntarist ideas.

“It’s not that the ideology caused the crime, but the ideology caused him to lose perspective,” LaPlante said.

After taking millions of dollars from elderly and desperate people being victimized by online scammers, Ian Freeman told United States District Court Judge Joseph LaPlante that he was a victim in the Bitcoin conspiracy case.

“I was also a victim of the scammers,” Freeman told LaPlante.

According to Freeman’s telling, he was simply operating the Shire Free Church dedicated to spreading the Good News about Bitcoin when the victims of romance scams and other confidence tricks started buying the cybercurrency from his exchange. Those victims were trained by their scammers to lie to Freeman to get around his security system, making him an unwitting accomplice to the scams.

“I’m sorry those people were taken advantage of, and I couldn’t stop them all,” Freeman said. 

But Assistant United States Attorney Georgiana MacDonald told LaPlante that Freeman was a manipulative liar who knew exactly what he was doing when he set up his BitCoin exchange. 

“He is an expert conman who has a spin for everything and who executed a very clever scheme,” MacDonald said.

The state alleged that Freeman set up his Bitcoin exchange using various entities like the Shire Free Church to conceal what he was doing — laundering money for online criminals. He advertised his commitment to “privacy” and even let the world know he would exchange Bitcoin for Nigerian currency. At the same time, Freeman charged exorbitant fees between 10 and 20 percent, enriching himself along the way.

“He knew what he was doing,” MacDonald said. 

Most mainstream cryptocurrency exchanges charge less than one percent for transactions. MacDonald said Freeman bought his Bitcoin through legitimate exchanges with far lower fees. Freeman was open to attracting criminals to his exchange, she said. The scammers would have victims buy Bitcoin directly from Freeman and deposit it in their digital wallets. The scammers would then cash out the Bitcoin, essentially without a trace.

“Why were scam victims from all over the country buying from Ian Freeman?” MacDonald said. 

A jury convicted Freeman on eight felony counts, including conspiracy to launder money obtained through wire fraud, connected to his Bitcoin exchange. Freeman disputed that he knowingly participated in the scams but acknowledged that the jury voted to convict. That meant they either did not like him or did not believe him, Freeman said.

“I have to accept that,” Freeman said.

His wife, Bonnie Freeman, insisted her husband would never hurt anyone. She said that his business was part of his Shire Free Church, which sought to change the world for the better through Bitcoin.

“Bitcoin is sacred to us,” Bonnie Freeman said.

Freeman’s attorneys, Mark Sisti and Richard Guerriero, plan to appeal the convictions.

Freeman started the day facing up to 21 years in prison. But LaPlante said the sentencing range for the case was out of line with the conduct, calling that amount of time unreasonable in this case.

While Freeman was seeking 38 months, or a little more than three years, LaPlante said the 96-month sentence he imposed was appropriate. LaPlante denied Guerrireo and Sisti’s motion to delay the sentence pending the appeal, saying they are unlikely to get the sentence overturned or reduced on appeal.

“I can’t see that happening,” LaPlante said.

Freeman was arrested in 2021 when federal agents raided his home and businesses associated with his Bitcoin exchange. Five other people were arrested along with Freeman in the case, earning the nickname the “Crypto 6” in libertarian circles. All of the other members of the Crypto 6 either had charges dropped or took plea deals, resulting in minimal prison sentences. 

Aria DiMezzo, 35, was sentenced to 18 months in prison after she took a plea deal earlier this year. Rich Paul, 56, Renee Spinella, 28, and Andrew Spinella, 37, all pleaded guilty as well and have served their sentences. Paul was in the group of supporters who filled the courtroom Monday. U.S. Marshals admonished him due to his emotional outbursts in court.

The sixth suspect, Colleen Fordham, 65, had the charges against her dropped.

Freeman, DiMezzo, and Nobody are all part of the Free Keene collective, an offshoot of the Free State Project. The group made a show of kicking Freeman out of the movement in 2014 after he repeatedly advocated for lowering the age of consent.

The Free State Project is a libertarian initiative started by Jason Sorens to overtake the state’s government. Freeman is also an advocate of seceding from the United States.

COVID, Conspiracies, and Cannabis: RFK Jr. Does PorcFest

It was a hot Thursday morning and the air in the PorcFest Pavilion in Lancaster and, as hundreds waited in the sun to see Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the air was thick with excitement.

And pot. And the scents that come with the presence of a large number of dogs.

It also didn’t help that the central bathroom with showers, located near the Norse pagan spiritual village, was out of order. The adjacent port-a-potties were also shut. It was hoped that would all be fixed before Thursday night’s scheduled free couples shower event. 

This was the environment RFK Jr. stepped into when he showed up for Porcfest, the Free State Project’s annual gathering in the White Mountains. Once he took the stage, the air was full of something else familiar at FSP gatherings: Anti-government conspiracy theories.

Kennedy’s appearance at this libertarian event upset Democrats like New Hampshire state party chairman Ray Buckley, who sent the Democratic presidential candidate a plea not to participate.

“Free Staters are nearly universally Republican primary voters; they are highly unlikely to vote in the Democratic Primary,” Buckley wrote. “Free Staters view with hostility our candidates, elected officials, values, and our party as a whole.”

Given the hostility Kennedy’s candidacy has received from his fellow Democrats — including candidates and elected officials — that latter point may have been moot.

And if the state Democratic Party wasn’t thrilled by RFK Jr. showing up at PorcFest, not every Free Stater was happy about it, either. Kennedy’s security requirements involved a ban on firearms in the Pavilion, no small feat at an event that often appears to be a walking gun show.

Guns are everywhere at PorcFest. People brought their AR-15s to the dog meet-up (though there was a conspicuous lack of doggie clean-up bags). They wore rifles on slings when grilling burgers or buying tacos. And so, while Kennedy spoke, there was a small pro-gun protest about 100 yards away at the self-declared “grassy knoll.”

It was a joke that could be considered offensive to a Kennedy family member, except that RFK Jr. believes a government-backed conspiracy murdered his uncle.

And while Kennedy and the FSP crowd may have disagreed on guns, they found plenty of common ground on the overall premise that government is a major part of America’s problems.

In his speech, Kennedy rolled through a tale of CIA operations to create bioweapons, totalitarian attempts to subvert the Constitution, Microsoft founder Bill Gates working behind the scene with Dr. Anthony Fauci to create a fake vaccine — with a couple of side trips through the dangers of the Patriot Act.

And, because he is Kennedy, there was a long discourse on environmental law administrative proceedings.

Kennedy’s appearance was largely a hit with the crowd. Suffering from spasmodic dysphonia, a rare voice disorder,  he delivered his stump speech like a raspy internal monologue that appeared to start in the middle of a conversation he was already having. He soon got to the FSP applause lines: Vaccine conspiracies, promises to free Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, and support for cryptocurrency.

The crowd quieted quickly, however, when Kennedy was asked about his support for the Second Amendment.

“I support a less than expansive view of the Second Amendment,” Kennedy confessed. “But, I’m not going to take away anyone’s guns as president of the United States.”

Jim Babb, one of the libertarians attending, said Kennedy’s views on gun rights are somewhat disturbing.

“I thought that was very weak. He talks about wanting to respect the Constitution, but I’m more interested in the fundamental right of self-defense,” Babb said. “He doesn’t really seem committed to human rights.”

Free Stater Tom Schnaidt first became interested in Kennedy at the start of the COVID pandemic and said he is still interested in his fight against the pharmaceutical industry. Schnaidt applauded Kennedy for telling the truth about his gun views, even if it did not appeal to the crowd.

“He’s running for president of the United States. New Hampshire is one of 50 states and one of just 13 that allows open carry,” Schnaidt said. “This audience would have sniffed him out if he got up there and made promises that were undeliverable.”

Tim Storrs is less concerned about Kennedy’s position on guns as he is that Kennedy did not address issues like the truth of the 9/11 attacks, the real origins of the Patriot Act, and how viruses are not real.

“The idea that viruses don’t exist whatsoever is not something that he admits very readily, and I don’t expect him to necessarily, and he’s already talked about this as something that divides the medical freedom community,” Storrs said.

Kennedy ended his talk by hailing the courage of New Hampshire Revolutionary War hero Gen. John Stark, who gave the Granite State its iconic “Live Free or Die” motto.

His wife, Molly Stark, viewed by some as equally courageous, might also have been worth a mention.

Molly Stark nursed her husband’s troops suffering from a smallpox outbreak during the war, turning the Stark home into a hospital. She petitioned New Hampshire for permission to inoculate her family from the dreaded disease but was denied.

Inoculation was considered too experimental and dangerous at the time.

GOP Rep. Corcoran Called Out for Using N-Word, Urging Others to Join In

Not long ago, state Rep. Travis Corcoran (R-Weare) wanted everyone to drop the “N-bomb.”

Now he just wants to drop the subject.

Corcoran, a self-styled intellectual rebel and part-time sci-fi writer (“a band of malcontents, dreamers, and libertarian radicals bolted privately-developed antigravity drives onto rusty seagoing cargo ships…”) took to Twitter earlier this year to urge everyone who follows him use the N-word as a protest against woke culture.

“We must all say or type the word’ n*gger’ in a public place, as a declaration that the progs can’t control our thoughts or our behaviors — EVEN IF WE DISLIKE THE WORD,” Corcoran wrote on his personal @MorlockP Twitter account. “It’s the ‘small pinch of incense’ test, in reverse. They demand ritual obedience. Disobey.”



Corcoran claimed in follow-up tweets that he dislikes the N-word and did not want to hurt people. But he thought it was important to use it to boldly push back against liberals in the fight for free speech and open expression.

As he says in his Twitter bio, “I came here to chew bubble gum and fight for a free New Hampshire…and I’m all out of bubble gum.”

So, what was his reaction when a NHJournal reporter called him to discuss his posts?

Corcoran hung up.

He also declined to respond to emails asking questions about his online persona.

And while Corcoran suggests he dislikes the N-word, he’s apparently comfortable with other slurs, a review of his social media reveals.

In 2021, Corcoran wrote, “I had some idiot respond to me, ‘What sort of person needs to spend $100K on a watch?’ Pissed me off to no end. I know, you know, and he knows that no one feels a NEED. They WANT to. And more power to them. People can spend on whatever they want. Using ‘need’ is a f*ggot move.”

In 2014, Corcoran tweeted, “You can say ‘the gay lifestyle is destructive’ w/o saying ‘disgusting f*ggots get diseases.’”

Corcoran’s troubling behavior online stretches back to his blog, where he defended the 2011 attempted assassination of Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords. 

“I think that it is morally legitimate to kill pro-regulation senators and pro-regulation judges, if it can be done without harming innocents,” he wrote. (In fact, the shooter was schizophrenic and not motivated by partisan ideology.) When he made the comments, Corcoran was living in Massachusetts and working as a comic book dealer. He made national news when police followed up on his comments and seized a large cache of weapons from his home.

State GOP leaders, already dealing with the arrest of state Sen. Keith Murphy (R-Manchester) on assault charges, declined to respond to requests for comment. Several House members who spoke to NHJournal on background described Corcoran as “a bit full of himself.” And, one member noted, during the last session, a Hosue Democrat was heard shouting the N-word at a Black teen activist inside the State House.

Meanwhile, Corcoran has responded to the latest controversy online.

“Holy cow, I’m about to cross 2,500 followers….and by looking at the bios of the new followers, they’re all conservatives and libertarians,” Corcoran tweeted. “I’d like to thank all of the NH Dems who tweeted about me for making this possible.”

Freeman Found Guilty in Final ‘Crypto 6’ Case

Libertarian activist Ian Freeman was found guilty of several felonies Thursday in the Bitcoin money laundering case. 

Freeman was at the center of a Bitcoin sales and donation operation that used his churches, such as the Shire Free Church in Keene, and hubs to launder money from cyber criminals, according to prosecutors.

The jury took a few hours Wednesday and Thursday to find Freeman guilty on charges of operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business, money laundering, conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business, and income tax evasion.

Freeman is set for a sentencing hearing in April. He faces up to eight years in prison.

Freeman was the lone Crypto 6 defendant to go to trial after four others took plea deals. Charges were dropped against the fifth. He was arrested during a March 2020 raid at his Keene home along with co-defendants Aria DiMezzo and Nobody, formerly known as Rich Paul. Freeman’s ex-girlfriend Renee Spinella and her husband, Andrew Spinella, were arrested at their home in Derry. Alstead resident Colleen Fordham, 63, was also arrested as part of the bust.

Prosecutors dropped the charges against Fordham early in the case. DiMezzo, Nobody, and the Spinella all took plea agreements that netted them light sentences.

Freeman was accused of taking in millions of dollars through Bitcoin exchanges and Bitcoin ATMs with the help of DiMezzo and the others. Freeman reportedly used personal bank accounts and accounts for made-up churches like the Shire Free Church, the Crypto Church of New Hampshire, the Church of the Invisible Hand, and DiMezzo’s Reformed Satanic Church, in order to conduct the bitcoin businesses. He allegedly lied to banks in opening accounts for his churches and other businesses and got the others to open accounts on his behalf, according to court records. Part of Freeman’s operation was helping cyber criminals swindle money from lonely victims, according to the indictments.

Freeman, DiMezzo, and Nobody are all part of the Free Keene collective, an offshoot of the Free State Project. The Free State Project made a show of kicking Freeman out of the movement in 2014 after he repeatedly advocated for lowering the age of consent. The Free State Project is a Libertarian initiative to overtake the state’s government. Freeman is an advocate of seceding from the United States of America.

Libertarian Charged With Assaulting Bolduc Now Banned From St A’s

Joa Orga, aka Joe Hart, the Libertarian activist accused of assaulting GOP Senate candidate Don Bolduc Wednesday night, is banned from St. Anselm College property and facing charges of criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. 

“He hit me,” Bolduc is seen saying in a video that captured the brief interaction with Orga.

The incident took place as Bolduc was greeting supporters ahead of his debate with Democratic incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan. At least one fellow Libertarian says Orga never touched Bolduc.

Goffstown police stated Thursday that Orga, 37, had been told to leave the property by college staff before Bolduc arrived at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics for the debate. Witnesses told NH Journal Orga was seen shouting obscenities and making bizarre statements before Bolduc got there.

Libertarian activist Ian Freeman released videos late Wednesday disputing the narrative that Orga assaulted Bolduc, as Bolduc and at least one other witness claim.

“The guy came at Gen. Bolduc in a threatening way, and he chest bumped or pushed Gen. Bolduc,” said Chris Ager, chairman of the Hillsborough County GOP Committee.

The videos showed Orga, holding what appeared to be a cell phone on a selfie stick, moving quickly toward Bolduc. In a quick sequence of events, Orga made some type of movement before Hillsborough County GOP Chair Chris Ager and another man moved to get Orga away from Bolduc. Police, already circling the area, quickly descended on the group and separated everyone. Bolduc was seen pointing at Orga and saying he was hit.

Bolduc later told a staffer the blow “glanced off” him. He also mentioned it during the debate, in response to a question about political violence and the recent attack on the husband of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

“I am really sorry for what happened to the Speaker’s husband,” Bolduc said. “Nobody should have that happen to them anywhere in America. But it’s a sign of the times. It’s a sign of political problems. Republicans and Democrats fuel issues with people that get them to the point where they are just so upset at an individual that they strike out at them. That’s what happened to me outside, just before I came in here.”

Freeman says Bolduc is lying about the incident, and that Orga never assaulted him. The videos do not show Orga throwing a punch.

“The campaign and Bolduc himself are lying. Joa never threw a punch nor did he even try to touch Bolduc. He did approach him and yell at him about being a warmonger, that’s it,” Freeman said.

Freeman is no stranger to law enforcement. He is currently heading to trial on dozens of federal charges accusing him of money laundering and wire fraud. Freeman was, on paper, kicked out of the Free State Project in 2014 after he repeatedly advocated for lowering the age of consent laws. Despite that public disavowal, Freeman is a frequent presence at Free State Project functions. He was an invited speaker at this year’s Free State Project annual PorcFest.

Orga, a self-described police auditor, has a history of negative interactions with law enforcement. In 2019 he was arrested inside the Worcester, Mass. police station for allegedly being disruptive while filming police. That same year he allegedly cyber-stalked the wife of a Rhode Island police officer after the officer stopped him for a traffic violation.

Orga is free on personal recognizance bail and will be arraigned on Dec. 1 at the Goffstown District Court. The incident remains under investigation and Goffstown police ask anyone with additional information to contact Detective Sergeant Kevin Laroche at (603) 497-4858.

Libertarian Activist Assaults Bolduc Outside NHIOP

A New Hampshire Libertarian Party activist reportedly assaulted GOP Senate candidate Don Bolduc Wednesday night outside the New Hampshire Institute of Politics moments before his debate with Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan.

“The guy came at Gen. Bolduc in a threatening way, and he chest bumped or pushed Gen. Bolduc,” said Chris Ager, chairman of the Hillsborough County GOP Committee.

Ager was in the crowd Wednesday night with Republican and Democratic activists cheering their candidates in the parking lot at the NHIOP at Saint Anselm College. Bolduc arrived and was working the crowd when he was suddenly assaulted.

In a video, Bolduc was seen interacting with his supporters, laughing and cheering when he got to an area where Libertarian protestors had gathered. A man was seen approaching Bolduc, standing close to the candidate and making some kind of motion.

“It happened pretty quickly, he was approaching him in a threatening way, and it appeared he did push into Gen. Bolduc,” Ager said. “I believed it was a threat to the General because of his erratic behavior before that.”

Ager said the man was shouting obscenities before Bolduc arrived and acting in a threatening and unsettling manner.

“He was saying irrational things before the encounter and using a lot of foul language,” Ager said. “He earlier had to be separated from another gentleman when he got into a confrontation.”

Ager is seen in the video rushing out of the crowd and pushing into the man. They were quickly separated by police. Bolduc did not appear hurt during the encounter. He resumed leading cheers with the crowd after the incident.

Ager said the man continued to be loud and confrontational with police after he was separated from Bolduc. He was later taken into custody, according to sources at the scene. The man could be seen in the video handcuffed and being led away by police.

Sources tell NH Journal the suspect is Libertarian activist Joseph Hart/AKA Joa Orga. Orga has a reported history of confrontations with police that include allegations of stalking behavior.

Goffstown police were unable to comment on the incident Wednesday night. Neil Levesque, the NHIOP executive director, did not respond to a request for comment.

Griffin Mackey was in the crowd supporting Bolduc. He told NHJournal the assailant was “relentlessly heckling Bolduc supporters across the street from him. Throughout the night, I saw him become angrier and angrier.

“Don was greeting his supporters and firing up the crowd when I saw this man start running aggressively towards him from across the street.

“We were relieved when we saw Don approaching us after we witnessed the police arresting his attacker,” Mackey added. “It was ironic to see a self-proclaimed pacifist attacking a veteran.”

Bolduc later told a staffer the blow “glanced off” him. He also mentioned it during the debate, in response to a question about political violence and the recent attack on the husband of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

“I am really sorry for what happened to the Speaker’s husband,” Bolduc said. “Nobody should have that happen to them anywhere in America. But it’s a sign of the times. It’s a sign of political problems. Republicans and Democrats fuel issues with people that get them to the point where they are just so upset at an individual that they strike out at them. That’s what happened to me outside, just before I came in here.”

Ager said the incident is out of the ordinary for political crowds he has been in, and that it was a case of an individual acting irresponsibly.

“This is very unusual. Between the Republicans and Democrats, we understand, we have different opinions, but we can be civil,” Ager said.

Manchester Dem Rep Resigns, But Still On Primary Ballot

Democrat Manchester Rep. Andrew Bouldin resigned his House seat in early August, nearly two months after filing for re-election to serve a third term in Concord.

Now, Democrats are stuck with a candidate on the ballot who may or may not intend to serve should he win re-election and could eventually trigger a special election to fill the vacancy.

Bouldin was first elected in 2018 along with his then-incumbent wife, Rep. Amanda Bouldin, D-Manchester, in a district that leans Democrat representing Manchester’s Ward 5. Andrew Bouldin was set to run for a third term in the fall, signing up for the election this summer. His name is printed on the September primary ballots, and can not be removed according to Anna Fay, spokesperson for the N.H. Secretary of State’s office.

With no contest in the primary, both Bouldins are likely to move forward to the November general election, save for a last-minute Democrat write-in campaign to try to best Andrew next Tuesday.

“The candidate’s name would remain on the ballot unless they are disqualified (which would happen if they move to another district, for example). If the candidate is disqualified, the candidate’s party is given the opportunity to fill the vacancy,” Fay said. The Secretary of State’s office notes they have not been informed of any disqualifying factors in this instance, and therefore can not declare a candidate vacancy.

Paul Smith, the clerk for the House of Representatives, confirmed Andrew Bouldin’s resignation. The matter has yet to be formally announced to the House, but Smith said it will be part of the next session. Bouldin is the 16th resignation of the session and the 23rd overall vacancy created. Five seats were filled by special elections, three went to Democrats (one pickup, Catherine Rombeau of Bedford) and two were held by Republicans.

In a year Republicans are expected to outperform their averages, the point may be moot. Republican Lisa Freeman won a seat in Manchester’s ward 5 in 2016, edging out Andrew Bouldin by six votes. This year, Scott Mattiello is the lone Republican running in the district so far, but Republicans could nominate a second candidate with 35 write-in votes, or the N.H. Republican Party could appoint a nominee in the days following the primary.

Andrew Bouldin did not respond to a request for comment on his resignation. He was elected in 2018 promising to use his time in the State House to address the opioid epidemic, to reform Valley Street Jail, and to support other progressive causes.

“As your Representative in Concord, I will support expanded access to healthcare including reproductive care and addiction treatment, a minimum wage increase, workers’ rights, clean and efficient energy, access to quality public education for all students, and the right of every eligible voter to vote,” he told Manchester InkLink in his 2018 candidacy announcement.

House Minority Leader Rep. David Cote, D-Nashua, did not respond to a request for comment. Nor did Manchester Democratic Committee chair Alan Raff.

Andrew Bouldin was a reliable progressive vote in the House. In the last session, Andrew Bouldin voted against cutting the business profits tax, he voted against the parental bill of rights, he voted against letting churches and other houses of worship stay open during states of emergency, he voted against displaying the motto “In God We Trust” in schools, and he voted against a ban on late-term abortions.

That progressive voice will go missing even if Andrew Bouldin wins in November. If Andrew Bouldin wins, and declines to be sworn in, the seat will remain open until a vacancy is declared by the House, which could trigger a special election, according to the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Office. There’s little Democrats can do unless they find a last-minute write-in candidate that can exceed Bouldin’s vote total on Tuesday.

Amanda Bouldin, Andrew Bouldin’s wife and fellow representative of the district has not resigned her seat and is running for re-relection. Amanda Bouldin also did not respond to a request for comment.

Amanda Bouldin moved to New Hampshire in 2008 as part of the libertarian Free State Project, though she’s since moved to the left. Amanda Bouldin’s voting record is largely similar to her husband’s, and she cosponsored a bill to repeal the state’s 24-week abortion ban.

The Bouldins will have one Republican challenger on the ballot in Scott Mattiello. He could not be reached for comment.

Freeman’s Ex Pleads to Wire Fraud in Crypto Scheme

Renee Spinella, charged in the federal wire-fraud case centered on Free Keene’s Ian Freeman, will not go to jail as part of her plea agreement. 

Spinella, 26, was sentenced to three years of supervised release on Thursday in United States District Court in Concord for her role in the money laundering and wire fraud scheme.

Spinella is one of six people charged in the alleged multi-million scheme, and currently one of three people to take plea deals. Her husband, Andrew Spinella, 36, pleaded guilty earlier this year and is awaiting sentencing. Free Keene activist Nobody, formerly Rich Paul, 55, was sentenced to two years of supervised release last month.

Of the remaining suspects, Collene Fordham 63, of Alstead, had the charges against her dropped. That leaves Freeman, 42, and Aria DiMezzo, 34, facing more than 30 indictments in the case. The pair are fighting the charges in court and seeking to have some charges dismissed.

Renee Spinella started living with Freeman when she was 16 after running away from her parents according to court records. She stayed with Freeman until she was 19, but remained within his orbit, according to court records. The pair even shared custody of a dog after their breakup. 

Renee Spinella is accused of opening bank accounts for Freeman to use for his various money laundering schemes, according to court reads. Most of this activity took place when she was between the ages of 21 and 24, according to court records.

Freeman and DiMezzo are accused of taking in millions of dollars through their Bitcoin exchanges and Bitcoin ATMs. The pair also used personal bank accounts and accounts for made-up churches like the Shire Free Church, the Crypto Church of New Hampshire, the Church of the Invisible Hand, and the Reformed Satanic Church, in order to conduct their bitcoin businesses. The pair allegedly lied to banks in opening their accounts and got others to open accounts on their behalf, according to court records. Part of the operation for Freeman was to help cyber criminals swindle money from lonely victims, according to the indictments.

Freeman reportedly has access to millions in cash and cryptocurrency, according to prosecutors.

Freeman is no stranger to local politics. He is currently running as a Republican in Senate District 10. DiMezzo made an unsuccessful campaign for Cheshire County sheriff in 2020 as the only Republican in the race.

Freeman, DiMezzo, and Nobody are all part of the Free Keene collective, an offshoot of the Free State Project. The Free State Project made a show of kicking Freeman out of the movement in 2014 after he repeatedly advocated for lowering the age of consent. The Free State Project is a Libertarian initiative to overtake the state’s government. Freeman is also an advocate of seceding from the United States.

In 2015, federal agents took Freeman’s computers, hard drive, and other devices as part of the child sex abuse image investigation that so far has not produced an indictment or charge, or apparently turned up any evidence. Freeman is currently suing the FBI to get his devices returned.

As part of her sentence, Renee Spinella was fined $2,000. According to court records, her actions were responsible for more than $78,000 in fraud.

New Indictments for Last Two Suspects in Crypto 6 Case

Federal prosecutors unsealed a new 32-count superseding indictment Tuesday against Free Keene’s Ian Freeman and Aria DiMezzo, the last remaining suspects in the “Crypto 6” money laundering Bitcoin criminal case.

The new indictments alleged Freeman and DiMezzo engaged in money laundering, wire fraud, conspiracy, and tax evasion. Freeman and DiMezzo are the only conspirators named in these new indictments, bought a week after three of the so-called Crypto 6 entered into plea agreements.

Renee Spinella, 25, her husband Andrew Spinella, 36, and Nobody, formerly known as Rich Paul, 54, all took plea deals that will bring them minimal prison time, and no jail time for Andrew Spinella. Prosecutors also dropped the indictment against Colleen Fordham, 62, leaving Freeman, 42, and DiMezzo, 35, as the only remaining suspects.

Renee Spinella is Freeman’s ex-girlfriend, and Nobody is a long-time member of Freeman’s Keene libertarian activist group.

Freeman’s attorney, Mark Sisti, could not be reached Tuesday evening. Richard Guerriero, DiMezzo’s attorney, said Tuesday night his client maintains her innocence.

Aria DiMezzo

“Aria DiMezzo maintains her position that she did nothing wrong and should not be prosecuted. She looks forward to a trial before a jury of New Hampshire citizens,” Guerriero said.

Freeman was asked Tuesday night about his former friends and associates possibly testifying against him, but he said he does not think that will happen.

“I don’t know what, if any, evidence there is that people are talking to the Feds or planning to testify against me. I’ve heard the opposite,” Freeman said in an email.

According to former First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Hampshire David Vicinanzo, the superseding indictments likely mean people are talking and providing new evidence to prosecutors.

“It most likely reflects that the people who pleaded are cooperating, have been interviewed, and have been deemed credible. Not only do the prosecutors have the testimony of the new witnesses, but probably additional documentary or other corroborative evidence derived from the insider testimony,” Vicinanzo said. “So, it looks like the Feds are loading up on the remaining defendants or defendants. It’s a common pattern in the federal system. We did it many times when I was there.”

If Vicinanzo is correct, and people close to Freeman are now witnesses for the prosecution, Freeman said he is not upset with them.

“Even if my friends are talking, no I don’t feel betrayed. The Feds are very scary and threatened my co-defendants with more charges if they didn’t take a plea deal. This is the typical strategy of the Feds, and it nearly always succeeds. It does not mean those who’ve pled guilty actually did anything wrong or harmed anyone. It simply means they were under duress and afraid of the unknown,” Freeman said. “I don’t blame them for doing what they felt they needed to do. Whatever it is they might say would only be the truth, that we were not scamming anyone, and no one was harmed. My religion includes the practice of forgiveness.”

According to the indictments, Freeman and DiMezzo brought in millions of dollars through their Bitcoin exchanges and Bitcoin ATMs. They also used personal bank accounts and accounts for made-up churches like the Shire Free Church, the Crypto Church of New Hampshire, the Church of the Invisible Hand, and the Reformed Satanic Church in order to conduct their bitcoin businesses. The pair allegedly lied to banks in opening their accounts and got others like Nobody and the Spinella’s to open accounts on their behalf, according to court records.

Part of the operation for Freeman was to help cybercriminals swindle money from lonely victims, according to the indictments.

“As part of the unlawful scheme, the defendant Ian Freeman knowingly processed and profited from numerous virtual currency transactions conducted on behalf of individuals who were defrauded by illegal scams, most commonly so-called ‘romance scams.’ By knowingly permitting defrauded individuals to exchange fiat currency for virtual currency including Bitcoin, Freeman and others facilitated the transfer of illicit proceeds to the executors of the illegal scams, while generating revenue for the virtual currency exchange business.,” the new indictments state.

Freeman is a long-time libertarian activist who first moved to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project. The official Free State Project distanced itself from Freemen in 2014 when he repeatedly used his radio show to call for lowering the age of consent. However, Freeman has taken part in Free State events since his 2014 ouster, such as the annual libertarian PorcFest.

The indictment states federal officials plan to seize all of Freeman’s Bitcoins, as well as $180,000 in cash and other currencies taken during the March 2021 raids at his home in Keene.