Note: This story was last updated at 8:30 a.m. May 4.
Five “sovereign citizens,” including Lee Cromwell of Oak Ridge, were convicted of more than 200 counts in Nashville this week in a case where the defendants had been accused of filing fraudulent liens against local and state officials in East Tennessee, including judges, prosecutors, and police officers in Anderson County, an official said Thursday.
Before the convictions, seven sovereign citizens from Anderson County had been charged in February 2017 with forgery and filing liens without a legal basis, Seventh Judicial District Attorney General Dave Clark said in a press release Thursday. Those charges came after an investigation that had been requested by Clark and was conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Many of the cases were tried in Nashville, and a jury returned a verdict this week of guilty on all counts, Clark said. Clark and his wife were both victims of the fraudulent liens, so Clark had requested another district attorney general to prosecute the case.
“As the liens were filed electronically at the Secretary of State’s Office in Nashville, it made sense to have the defendants indicted and prosecuted in Davidson County,” Clark said. [Read more…]