Chicago Resident Indicted for Filing False Liens Against Federal Officials
A federal grand jury sitting in Chicago, Illinois, has returned a 12-count felony indictment against Chicago resident Cherron Marie Phillips for filing false liens against the real property of a dozen federal employees in the Northern District of Illinois, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Phillips, 42, also known as “River Tali,” is accused of knowingly filing false liens against two federal prosecutors, five federal agents, a federal court clerk, and four federal judges, including the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois – all on account of the performance of their official duties. The indictment further alleges that each lien contained a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement and representation, including a false claim that the victims each owed Phillips’ brother (who was separately convicted in an unrelated proceeding) one hundred billion dollars.
Title 18, United States Code, Section 1521, makes it a federal crime knowingly to file in any public record a false lien or encumbrance on the real or personal property of an officer or employee of the United States, on account of the performance of their official duties. The charge carries a maximum possible penalty of 10 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and a three-year term of supervised release.
“We take these cases very seriously.” United States Attorney Wigginton stated. “We will continue to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law all who seek to intimidate, harass, and retaliate against federal judges and employees by filing false liens against their property. Federal workers, and all workers, should be able to fairly do their jobs without fear of this kind of harassment.”
Please note: an indictment is merely an accusation. All criminal defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by competent evidence.
Phillips is currently being held in the custody of the United States Marshal pending a detention hearing next week. A trial date has not been set.
This case is being brought by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois in order to prevent any claims of bias or favoritism, since some of the Counts deal with employees of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois. The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, acting in concert with the United States Marshals Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan D. Stump, from Southern Illinois, is prosecuting the case in Chicago.