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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Wisconsin

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Inmate Sentenced For Attempt To File False Liens Against Prison Official

MADISON, WIS. -- John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Brian Keith Small, 53, Rockford, Ill., was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb to 20 months in federal prison for attempting to file false liens and encumbrances against a Bureau of Prison (BOP) official, while Small was an inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution at Oxford, Wis.  Small pleaded guilty to this charge on October 27, 2014.

On or about November 18, 2011, a BOP Special Investigations Supervisor at FCI-Oxford confiscated an envelope that Small attempted to mail to an associate in Mendota, Ill.  There was a letter inside the envelope from the defendant directing the associate to file the enclosed documents with the Illinois Secretary of State.  Included within the documents was a UCC Financing Statement Amendment and a “Common Law Lien Writ of Attachment” listing Brian Keith Small as a “Secured Party/Creditor” and the BOP employee as a debtor.  The documents claimed to attach a lien of $100,060,640.52 to the BOP employee’s assets.

The BOP officer never had any transaction with Small nor had the defendant obtained a court judgment against the officer.  In fact, the BOP officer owed the defendant nothing and the only relationship the BOP officer had with Small was through the performance of the officer’s official duties.  In sentencing Small, Judge Crabb noted that he had also attempted to file a fraudulent lien against the then-Secretary of the United States Treasury, Timothy Geithner.   

United States Attorney Vaudreuil stated, “UCC liens play a vital part in preserving the health of our economy.  The sentence imposed today shows that severe punishment will follow when such liens are used unlawfully as weapons to retaliate against government employees for doing their jobs.” 

The charge against Small was the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Special Investigations Office at FCI-Oxford.  The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Munish Sharda and Timothy O’Shea.

Updated July 14, 2015