Minnesota Couple Claiming Sovereign Citizen Immunity From Prosecution Get Nearly Two Years For Filing $114 Billion In Bogus Liens Against Gov't Officials In Retaliation Over Home Foreclosure
In Ramsey County, Minnesota, the Pioneer Press reports:
- A former Minneapolis couple who filed fake liens against public officials were sentenced Friday to nearly two years in prison after a judge denied their attempt to withdraw their guilty pleas.
Thomas Eilertson, 45, and Lisa Eilertson, 49, were taken into custody immediately upon sentencing by Ramsey County District Judge Lezlie Ott Marek.
"These people are selfish, they're bullies -- in fact, they are paper terrorists," said John Ristad of the Ramsey County attorney's office.
On Thursday, the couple sent a 97-page fax to the court, Ristad said. Among the documents were IRS forms "with my name, (County Attorney) John Choi's name, Judge (Teresa) Warner's name and, Your Honor, your name," Ristad said.
The fax also included evidence of "attempts to bully the local newspapers, demanding retractions and threatening sanctions," Ristad said.
The judge agreed with Ristad that the Eilertsons had violated the plea agreement by failing to remove liens they had filed against officials such as Hennepin County Sheriff Rick Stanek, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and Steven Bruns, an attorney who represented the lender during the foreclosure of the Eilertsons' Minneapolis home.
The paperwork for the lien removal was sent to the Eilertsons' new address in Coleraine, Minn., but the couple returned it, unopened. They also failed to return calls from the probation department to set up a pre-sentence investigation interview, the judge said.
Thomas Eilertson said he had "no idea" that Ristad was going to be sending the paperwork for the lien removal. He also said he believed that "with the rescission of the plea, everything went back to square one."
The judge said that since she had not ruled until Friday on the Eilertsons' motion to withdraw their pleas, they should have continued as they were ordered at the plea hearing. It was "very clear what they needed to do" before sentencing, Marek said.
Had the Eilertsons complied with terms of the plea agreement, they would have been given stayed prison sentences, with a maximum of four months in the Ramsey County workhouse.
Thomas Eilertson called Ristad's description of some of the couple's recent actions "blatant lies." "I object to prison," he said. "I'm not a criminal."
He asked the judge to delay his entry into prison for two days so he could prepare the couple's 12-year-old daughter "for what's about to happen to our family." The judge said no. "Oh, my god," Lisa Eilertson whispered. Thomas Eilertson then asked for a stay of sentence pending an appeal, but Marek again denied the request. "Oh, no, please," his wife said. A deputy told her to be quiet.
The Eilertsons filed false liens against 12 victims, using the name "Blessings of Liberty," according to criminal complaints filed in Ramsey County District Court.
The Hennepin County sheriff's office referred the case to St. Paul police for investigation because several victims are Hennepin County officials.
The Eilertsons' activities stemmed from 2009, when their home at 4448 Cedar Ave. S. in Minneapolis went into foreclosure. They were evicted in July 2010.
A person they corresponded with online gave them instructions on how to file Uniform Commercial Code liens against people in retaliation for their economic problems. They were told that filing under the name "Blessings of Liberty" shielded them from civil and criminal liability. (It did not.)
The Internet acquaintance said the liens, which are claims against an asset, would allow the Eilertsons to "do death by a thousand paper cuts." The liens, filed in 2009 and 2010 with the Secretary of State's office in St. Paul, totaled $114 billion.
"We never wanted to file liens against anybody," Lisa Eilertson said Friday. "We just wanted answers." Asked if she wanted to say anything more before her sentencing, Lisa Eilertson said, "I don't consent. I don't consent to this."
Marek signed an order Friday directing the Secretary of State's office to remove the liens.