"I decided to buy it sight unseen and sans authentication," laughed DeMattia who collects Norton memorabilia to display in the bar.
The currency, which the self-proclaimed emperor printed and issued by the thousands during his reign as the city's most eclectic citizen in the 1800s, has become the holy grail for Norton collectors -- with genuine, hand-signed and dated notes fetching more than $10,000.
"They were printed by the thousands, but then the great fire came through and burned everything, so they went from everyone had one to no one had one," DeMattia said. "Now it's one of the rarest currencies." [...]
[Vintage currency expert Don] Kagin said the note, hand-numbered 2573, is the fortieth of known notes that survived Norton's time. The note promises to repay the recipient 50 cents in 1880 -- with interest of five cents. Norton himself died on January 8th, 1880 escaping the note's due date. The promissory bonds, which he had printed by San Francisco printers were often honored by the restaurants, shopkeepers and individuals he encountered during his daily excursions through the city.
"They're being careful," Bogdanov said, speculating that media outlets are afraid of being sued for using the wrong language. In the Kremlin-controlled Russian media, Butina is being described mainly in glowing terms.
Evgeny Popov, told The Daily Beast: "She is a hero! You are not." He could not specify the nature of Butina's alleged heroic deeds but Popov predicted that Viktor Bout and Konstantin Yaroshenko would soon follow suit and also be released from U.S. custody. Bout is an international arms dealer, convicted of conspiring to sell weapons to a foreign terrorist group and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Yaroshenko was sentenced to 20 years for conspiring to smuggle cocaine into the United States. [...]
Popov's wife and co-host of 60 Minutes, Olga Skabeeva, claimed that Butina's confessions and her guilty plea should be disregarded, since they were allegedly extracted by "torture" in U.S. custody. Popov lamented: "This person is just a victim! A political prisoner! A victim of the elections! A victim of attacks against Trump and imaginary Russian interference." Skabeeva added: "They suddenly let her go, because the scandal with election interference has ended." [...]
Working at the direction of a Russian government official, Alexander Torshin, Butina infiltrated Republican political circles and the National Rifle Association around the time of the 2016 election in order to promote Russian interests. In September of 2019, an investigation by Senate Democrats determined that the NRA has acted as a "foreign asset" in providing Russian officials access to US political organizations.
The mother of a former US intelligence analyst and the first whistleblower arrested during the Trump era said it made her "sick" that Russian agent Maria Butina was released from a Florida prison Friday while her daughter remains locked up. [...]
Winner, 27, a US Air Force veteran, was sentenced in August 2018 to more than five years behind bars as part of a deal in which she pleaded guilty to leaking a classified National Security Agency document about a 2016 Russian cyberattack on a supplier of American voting software.
In 2017, while working as a federal contractor assigned to the NSA in Georgia, Winner leaked the classified document providing details of the Russian cyberattack. [...]
Her daughter, who worked in the Air Force's drone program, is serving the longest sentence ever imposed on a journalistic source by a federal court, according to the Department of Justice.