The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
The investigation continued Thursday into another violent confrontation between authorities and a suspected antigovernment “sovereign citizen,” a 61-year-old Navy veteran who was shot and killed by police early Saturday morning in the small Colorado town of Fruita.
Authorities say Lewis Pollard, a longtime Fruita resident, brandished a handgun and pointed it at a police officer at his home shortly after he fled a routine traffic stop at 12:40 a.m. Three officers opened fire, striking Pollard multiple times, according to media accounts that quoted a statement from the Fruita Police Department. ( continue to full post… )
A federal judge in Seattle had a short, simple message for a 70-year-old “sovereign citizen” accountant who persuaded other antigovernment activists to file fraudulent tax returns that called for refunds equal to their personal debts.
The tax fraud cost the government $700,000 in erroneous payments. For his work, Bell received a 10 percent cut of the refunds paid to others and a flat fee for each bogus return he filed. He also received a fraudulent refund on his own taxes of approximately $35,000.
“Your scheme … is fraud at its core,” U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton told Raymond Leo Jarlik Bell. “You are hurting people intentionally, regardless of your adherence to [your beliefs].” ( continue to full post… )
Even the steel doors and isolation of a federal prison can’t seem to stop some antigovernment “sovereign citizens” from continuing to file frivolous legal documents and liens against government officials and judges.
But, as a recent case in Seattle shows, a relatively new federal law is being used by prosecutors to punish inmates and other conspirators who believe they don’t answer to authority and continue to flood the legal system with spurious documents. ( continue to full post… )
A 36-year-old software engineer who shot and killed a California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer last fall was bipolar and held antigovernment “sovereign citizen” views, an investigation by the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office has concluded.
Christopher Lacy’s ideological ties to the sovereign citizen movement, whose adherents generally believe they are immune to federal tax and many criminal laws, were documented with more than 100 interviews and search warrants. But the seven-month investigation failed to determine why he shot CHP Trooper Kenyon Youngstrom on Sept. 4. ( continue to full post… )
A federal jury on Friday convicted James Timothy Turner, one of the nation’s most prominent antigovernment “sovereign citizens,” on 10 tax fraud charges stemming from seminars he held between 2007 and 2009 that purported to teach people how to tap into “secret” government accounts to pay their tax bills.
Turner, 57, of Ozark, Ala., gave a half-hearted wave as U.S. Marshals took him into custody after the guilty verdict was read today in Montgomery, Ala. He faces as many as 168 years in prison when he is sentenced in U.S. District Court this summer.
Turner was convicted of using a fictitious financial instrument, purportedly valued at $300 million, to pay his own taxes and of assisting others who wanted to get out of paying their taxes with similar “bonds” that he claimed would draw on government accounts. ( continue to full post… )
Federal prosecutors opened the trial of one the nation’s most prominent “sovereign citizens” leaders by portraying him as nothing more than a con man who used antigovernment ideology to peddle illegal debt- and tax-relief scams to the financially troubled.
But James Timothy Turner, delivering his own opening statement at the trial that began Monday in Montgomery, Ala., cast himself as the victim. “I discovered things that big Washington government doesn’t want you know,” he said. “They’re trying to shut me up.”
Turner faces 10 tax charges, including conspiring to defraud the federal government, attempting to pay his own taxes with a fictitious financial instrument and attempting to obstruct an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investigation. He faces up to 164 years in prison and large financial penalties if convicted on all charges. ( continue to full post… )
An armed “sovereign citizen,” accused of printing his own currency and defying government authority, was shot and killed in Florida last weekend after a four-hour standoff with a police SWAT team.
Like so many law enforcement encounters with sovereign citizens, the case involving Jeffrey Allen Wright began with a routine traffic stop before quickly escalating. Wright attempted to pay his traffic fine with counterfeit money, then refused to acknowledge courts had jurisdiction over him when additional charges were filed against him. ( continue to full post… )
If you’re a band of antigovernment “Patriots” pitching a plan to build a walled city in North Idaho and manufacture handguns and assault rifles there, you might expect raised eyebrows, a little criticism. But potshots from other Patriots?
Potshots, indeed, are flying at III Arms Co. and its sister land development company, Citadel Land Development, the firms behind a proposed 2,000- to 3,000-acre III Citadel complex for as many as 7,000 “Patriot” families near St. Maries, in Idaho’s sparsely populated Benewah County.
The criticism is sparked by the fact that one of the key players linked to the unlikely-sounding venture is three-time convicted felon Christian Allen Kerodin, a Maryland contractor who has apparently used various aliases and whose birth name was Christian Hyman. His wife or partner, Holly Ann Kerodin, has been involved in questionable charity, counseling, publishing and other ventures that have failed, various critics say. ( continue to full post… )
In what appears to be yet another sign that the federal government is cracking down hard on key figures in the antigovernment “sovereign citizens” movement, officials in upstate New York last week unsealed a grand jury indictment of Glenn Richard Unger, who goes by the alias of Dr. Sam Kennedy, on charges that he filed fraudulent federal tax forms.
The seven-count indictment against Unger, 62, of Ogdensburg, N.Y, was brought by a federal grand jury in Syracuse last month, the Watertown Daily Times reported today. The indictment accused Unger, who the Southern Poverty Law Center profiled as a major sovereign leader in 2010, of filing fraudulent tax-refund claims amounting to $36 million between 2007 and 2011. Unger was arraigned last week and remains in custody while a judge considers setting a bond for him. ( continue to full post… )
A kidnapping suspect with suspected extremist connections and a history of assaulting police was arrested Wednesday after attempting to hijack a tractor-trailer rig at a truck stop in Bismarck, N.D.
Mitchell L. Walck, wanted for shooting at an Idaho state trooper last weekend and later kidnapping a North Idaho woman, hid in the sleeper cab of the parked truck in Bismarck and pointed a handgun at its driver when he returned to the rig. ( continue to full post… )