A female from Calhoun County has been arrested and charged for offering a false instrument for record, according to Sheriff Todd Entrekin.
Mary Whiteside Quillen, 65, of Weaver, Alabama, was arrested on July 23 and charged with one count of offering a false instrument for record.
Quillen recorded several frivolous documents, on July 23, against government officials in a lien. Secretary Jacob J. Lew, U.S. Department of the Treasury was specifically named in one document. The instruments were recorded in the office of Etowah County’s probate judge.
“These types of false recordings have the potential to ruin public officials’ lives,” says Sheriff Entrekin. “We will not allow this to happen in Etowah County and will prosecute these individuals to the fullest extent of the law. To our knowledge these are the only cases that have been made in the state under this law.”
Recording false instruments against public officials became a crime with the passage of House Bill 17 in the 2012 Alabama legislature. The charge is a Class C Felony.
According to the law, a false instrument is, “…a written instrument which relates to or affects the real or personal property, or an interest therein, or a contractual relationship of a public servant, knowing that the written instrument contains a materially false statement or materially false information, with the intent to defraud, intimidate, or harass the public servant, or to impede the public servant in the performance of his or her duties.”
Quillen is currently being detained in the Etowah County Detention Center on a $100,000 cash bond. This case is ongoing. Additional charges are possible.
A similar incident took place in June with the arrests of Everett Leon Stout, 71, of St. Clair County, and Miriam Clare Shultz, 66, of Marshall County. Stout and Shultz were each charged with two counts of offering a false instrument for record.
Stout and Shultz recorded false documents against a circuit clerk, municipal prosecutor, federal judge and federal probation officer.
“These individuals’ actions align with the ideology and beliefs of sovereign citizens,” says Sheriff Entrekin. “Sovereign citizens believe that both state and federal government entities are unlawful.”
When these individuals, who claim to be sovereign citizens, come into contact with local law enforcement they often are driving without state-required licenses, either for their vehicles or themselves. Members of the group also inundate public officials, including local law enforcement officers, with frivolous liens, false claims and sometimes threats of violence.
Agencies involved in the investigation include: Etowah County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshal’s Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force and the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.
For additional information about the Sovereign Citizen movement please visit http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/september-2011/sovereign-citizens