The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

‘Sovereign Citizen’ Daughter Indicted in Telemarketing Scam

By Zachary Conn on July 3, 2012 - 1:52 pm, Posted in Antigovernment

In the family of one of the antigovernment “sovereign citizen” movement’s most notorious ideologues, the apple seems to have fallen tragically close to the tree.

Jessica Gutierrez, the daughter of the late sovereign citizen Jerry Kane, was among 18 suspects charged by the Ohio attorney general in connection with a telemarketing scam that defrauded elderly victims out of millions of dollars. Victims were told over the phone that their properties, usually unused areas of deserts, swamps and other virtually worthless land, could be sold to “interested buyers” for as much as 15 times their true worth –– but only if the sellers first paid “closing costs” ranging from $500 to $16,000 to the scam artists.

Gutierrez was charged with telecommunications fraud and aggravated threat. If convicted, she faces up to 37 years in prison. At 26, she would join a few other criminals in her family.

Heather Michelle Kane, 32, Jerry’s oldest daughter, is serving a 13-year sentence for the attempted murder of a woman she found on an ex-boyfriend’s MySpace page. And prior to Jerry Kane’s own death on May 20, 2010, he had traveled around the country hosting seminars teaching people spurious schemes to avoid debt that are rooted in sovereign citizen ideology.

Kane and his son, Joe, were killed in a shootout with police after they murdered two police officers who pulled them over on an interstate in West Memphis, Ark. The killings ignited concern over the growing threat of sovereign citizens – a concern that led the FBI to characterize the movement as “domestic terrorist.”

In the aftermath of the shootout, Gutierrez presented herself as the family’s saving grace. Describing her father’s antigovernment beliefs as “crazy” and “cultish” to the Memphis-area ABC affiliate, she lamented being unable to protect her 16-year-old brother from their paranoid father’s grip. But most of all, she said, she felt for the slain officers’ orphans, especially as a mother with small children of her own.

“I can’t make sense of it,” she said. “Words can’t even express my grief.”

Apparently, her ability to empathize with the victims was less than genuine. The victims to her own, alleged scam included an 86-year-old woman with ovarian cancer who wanted to leave some money to her family. Once she paid the criminals $15,000, she was told that properties actually worth $2,347 could garner more than 100 times as much.

  • herrry

    hello ! And Lewis, the SPLC reports on crimes committed by the NOI when those crimes are connected to their ideology.

    The same goes for Ms Scammy here.

  • Reynardine

    Tobias, I am not unfamiliar with Christian Science, which was, for its time, quite enlightened, but this is not the place to expound on its behalf. Mrs. Eddy herself came, in time, to recognize the existence of what she called mental malpractice and we would term (in the legal sense) universal malice and the French call fuckitism (I am not giving it a literal translation, because it’s too dirty). Had she lived to see the events of the Twentieth Century, her thoughts would have evolved further. In the event, if that faith as it stands is good for you, follow it; but this is not the forum for that, or any faith, to be expounded.

  • Aron


    That is definitely proselytizing. And it is completely off topic. Please take your Bakerism elsewhere.

    And Lewis, the SPLC reports on crimes committed by the NOI when those crimes are connected to their ideology.

    The same goes for Ms Scammy here.

  • Lewis Loflin

    Again what does this have to do with anything? Why not report every parking ticket by every Nation of Islam racist even though it has nothing to do with their racism?

  • Tobias A. Weissman

    I hate to sound like I am proselytizing, but really, Christian Science, really explains the concept of Love to such an extent that if understood would definitely rid the country of temptation to cheat, rob, kill, and show people that honesty would solve problems. Don’t laugh at it or judge it, but try it.

  • Erika

    with different parents she could have gone to work for a major bank and stolen houses from elderly people legally.

  • ModerateMike

    What strikes me about these individuals is that they are not only remorseless, but recklessly irrational and self-destructive. Maybe that is an integral part of sociopathy? I really don’t know…but I know plenty of people who are still struggling to find steady work, and yet they aren’t trying to kill ex-lovers and bilk the elderly. It makes me wonder if there aren’t some genetic factors involved in a person’s sense of morality.

  • Erika

    sounds just like a normal scam with no connection to anti-government or sovereign citizen groups – kind of a stretchto connect her alleged crime to any sort of ideology if you ask me.

    unless the point is that most sovereign citizens and anti-government people are just common scammers who are only in it for the money. i believe that anyway.

  • Reynardine

    All heart, aren’t they? I think that’s called sociopathy.