With his fraudulent claim of wealth, Everett Leon Stout attempted to buy a $300,000 recreational vehicle from Dandy R.V. Superstore in Oxford, Ala., in 2014.
When the RV dealership wouldn’t take his worthless sovereign citizen check, based on a fraudulent common-law judgment, Stout filed a lien against the business. The extortion charge was filed after Stout offered to withdraw the lien in exchange for money.
Authorities identified Stout and his common-law wife, Miriam Claire Shultz, 70, both of Oxford, as sovereign citizens when they were arrested in December 2014 on multiple felony charges, including filing fraudulent liens and attempting to extort $1.6 million from various businesses, including the RV dealership. Charges are still pending against Shultz, according to investigators.
Like other sovereign citizens, Stout apparently believed state and federal laws didn’t apply to him — that he could obtain fictitious monetary judgments against public officials and businesses and then beginning writing checks.
And, as sovereigns often do, Stout decided he knew the law so well that he would represent himself once he faced criminal charges.
At one point early in the case, a Calhoun County Circuit Judge threatened to use tape to silence courtroom outbursts from Stout, but opted instead to send him back to jail.
During his two-day trial in late July, Stout took the witness stand and answered his own questions, “sifting through documents, sometimes raising seemingly obscure legal points while Assistant District Attorney Sheila Field objected to their relevance,” the web site al.com reported.
The judge twice cited Stout for contempt of court, but waived $200 in fines.
As Stout rambled on, the judge instructed him to wrap up his case after he called no witnesses, the Alabama media group reported. Stout used several lines of reasoning, saying the documents he filed were never contested and that it was not necessary for the RV business to report the matter to police.
Stout went on to question the validity of the court and public officials who he contended were violating their oaths of office. He told jurors that they would deliberate in a “conspiracy room” where those convinced of his guilt would sway others.
It took the jury panel only 40 minutes to reach its unanimous finding of guilt.