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Sovereign citizens wait for jury verdict in federal bank fraud trial  2/1/18 DinarDailyUpdates?bg=330099&fg=FFFFFF&anim=1

Sovereign citizens wait for jury verdict in federal bank fraud trial 2/1/18

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Sovereign citizens wait for jury verdict in federal bank fraud trial  2/1/18 Empty Sovereign citizens wait for jury verdict in federal bank fraud trial 2/1/18

Post by Ssmith Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:42 am

A federal jury resumed deliberations Thursday morning to decide whether two members of the sovereign citizens movement conspired to rip off a bank with a mix of electronic sleight of hand and legal mumbo-jumbo.

"If you find me guilty, you will allow the real bank robbers to get away once again with financial murder," Randall Keith Beane told jurors in closing arguments Wednesday. "It's time we the people demand accountability from those who have enslaved us."

Prosecutors call the pair more opportunists than true believers.

"Lies and greed — that's what this case is about," Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Davidson told the jury. "That, and trying to get away with the money. Neither of these defendants are crazy, and they don't even believe what they're saying."

A sovereign stance

Beane and Heather Ann Tucci-Jarraf have been standing trial in U.S. District Court on charges of conspiracy to launder money, with each acting as their own attorneys. Beane, 50, also faces charges of wire and mail fraud.

Jurors began deliberations Wednesday about 3:30 p.m. U.S. District Judge Tom Varlan sent them home when they hadn't reached a verdict by 5 p.m.

Deliberations resumed Thursday at 9 a.m.

More: Feds: Sovereign citizens promised secret formula to pay off debts

More: Pair of 'Sovereign Citizens' stand trial in Knox; one sought meeting with Trump

Editorial: 'Sovereign citizen' gets passport to prison

Prosecutors say Beane, an Air Force veteran working for Advantage Innovations in Knoxville, had overloaded himself with tens of thousands of dollars in debt he owed to the United Services Automobile Association, an online banking service catering to current and former military personnel.

Beane somehow came across a YouTube video promoted on social media by Tucci-Jarraf that laid out how to tap into a "secret bank account" through the Federal Reserve and ride it to big bucks and bliss, according to court testimony. Beane, who made more than $140,000 per year as a computer programmer, insisted on the witness stand he never thought to check out the claim, even through a simple Google search.

"He's a computer programmer but doesn't even check Wikipedia or Snopes.com to learn whether this fanciful tale is true?" Davidson said.

A familiar folklore

The video recycles popular — and repeatedly discredited — tropes of the "sovereign citizens" movement, a loose collection of fringe groups that deny the legitimacy of government authority from the federal to the local level and preach a gospel founded on secret troves of free money and paths to freedom from all legal obligations that can be unlocked by the right set of magic words. The Federal Reserve typically figures as the resident villain in their pantheon, presiding over an intricate system of paper slavery that shackles Americans to debt and taxation.

Tucci-Jarraf, a former prosecutor, promoted the video as part of her claim that she and fellow crusaders had filed foreclosure notices against the federal government that reclaimed Federal Reserve funds on behalf of the American people.

"Most people don't know," she told the jury Wednesday. "The highest levels know exactly what's going on. I've worked with some of them. I have worked and committed my life to stopping these unlawful acts against people all over the world."

Various figures in the movement for decades have promoted similar schemes that nearly always end in foreclosures and prosecutions for tax evasion and fraud.

A miracle glitch

Prosecutors say Beane used automatic delays in the banking system of transfers of money from one bank to another to buy certificate of deposits last year using the Federal Reserve Bank’s routing number and a fake checking account number, quickly liquidating the CDs and stashing the money in his USAA accounts. USAA allowed its members to make immediate withdrawals — before the transaction was approved and funded.

Beane used that glitch in the system to open $30 million in CDs and cash in roughly $2 million before USAA discovered the deceit, according to court records. He used some of the money to pay off debts and to buy a half-million-dollar motor home, prosecutors said.

FBI agents probing the case arrested Beane in July as he picked up his new prize at Buddy Gregg Motor Homes in Farragut. He'd just shared a post by Tucci-Jarraf on his Facebook page days earlier, bragging about his success.

Tucci-Jarraf was arrested outside the White House a few days after Beane's arrest, according to court testimony, after the FBI got a tip from the Secret Service that she was demanding a meeting with President Donald Trump.


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