Members of Anti-government Movement Arrested on Federal Money Laundering, Tax Evasion and Weapons Charges
Las Vegas, Nev. – Four members of an anti-government movement known as the "Sovereign Movement," have been arrested following a three-year investigation by the Nevada Joint Terrorism Task Force into allegations of money laundering, tax evasion, and possession of unregistered machine guns, announced Greg Brower, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Samuel Davis, 54, of Council, Idaho, Shawn Rice, 46, of Seligman, Arizona, Harold Call, 67, of Las Vegas, Nevada, and Jan Lindsey, 66, of Henderson, Nevada, were arrested Thursday morning, March 5, 2009, in the Las Vegas area. Davis and Rice are charged in a federal indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and 30 counts of money laundering. If convicted, they face up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine on each count. Call is charged in a federal indictment with two counts of possession and transfer of a machine gun and three counts of possession of an unregistered machine gun. If convicted, Call faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count. Lindsey is charged in a federal indictment with one count of evasion of payment of tax and four counts of evasion of assessment of tax. If convicted, Lindsey faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.
The indictments were returned by the federal grand jury on March 3, 2009, and unsealed on Thursday, March 5, 2009. The defendants are scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence R. Leavitt at 3:00 p.m. today, March 6, 2009.
According to the court records, from March 2008 through the date of the Indictment, Davis and Rice allegedly laundered approximately $1.3 million of monies for FBI undercover agents. Davis and Rice were told by the undercover agents that the monies were proceeds of a bank fraud scheme, specifically from the theft and forgery of stolen official bank checks. Davis and Rice laundered the monies through a nominee trust account controlled by Davis and through an account of a purported religious organization controlled by Rice. Davis and Rice took approximately $74,000 and $22,000, respectively, in fees for their money laundering services.
On September 11, 2008, and January 20, 2009, Call allegedly possessed and transferred an "auto sear" or "lightening link," a combination of firearm parts designed to convert a weapon from manual to automatic use. On October 9, 2008, Call allegedly possessed a STEN machine gun, which was not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.
Lindsey allegedly failed to timely file or pay federal income tax for the years 1999 through 2006, and committed various acts that were designed to hide his income and assets from the IRS, including the filing of false tax returns, making false statements to the IRS, placing funds and property in the names of nominees, using factious negotiable instruments to attempt to pay his taxes and filing fraudulent documents with the IRS and Clark County, Nevada.
Unsealed search warrant affidavits allege that Rice, Davis, Lindsey, and Call are heavily involved in the "Sovereign Movement," an extreme anti-government organization whose members attempt to disrupt and overthrow government and other forms of authority by using "paper terrorism" tactics, intimidation and harassment, and violence. Members believe they do not have to pay taxes and believe the federal government deceived Americans into obtaining social security cards, driver's licenses, car registrations, and wedding licenses, etc., and that if these contracts are revoked, persons are "sovereign citizens." Members of the sovereign movement also believe that U.S. currency is invalid. They widely use fictitious financial instruments such as fraudulent money orders, personal checks, and sight drafts, and participate in "redemption" schemes where the fictitious financial instruments are used to pay creditors.
Davis is allegedly a national leader of the movement, traveling nationwide to teach different theories and ideologies of the movement. Rice allegedly claims that he is a lawyer and Rabbi, and uses his law school education and businesses to promote his sovereign ideas and to gain credibility in the community. Lindsey, a retired FBI Agent, and Call are leaders of the Nevada Lawmen Group for Public Awareness, a group that is associated with the sovereign movement.
The public is reminded that an Indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The cases are being investigated by the FBI-led Nevada Joint Terrorism Task Force, which also includes ATF, Henderson Police Department, IRS Criminal Investigation, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Nevada Department of Public Safety, North Las Vegas Police Department, and other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in Nevada, Council, Idaho, and Flagstaff and Seligman, Arizona.