NASHVILLE—Five East Tennessee men who have been identified as “sovereign citizens,” including one from Oak Ridge and another from Clinton, were sentenced to 20-50 years in prison on Wednesday after filing fraudulent liens worth hundreds of millions of dollars against public officials, law enforcement officers, and others.
The five defendants—who included Austin Gary Cooper, 69, of Clinton, and Lee Harold Cromwell, 68, of Oak Ridge—had earlier been convicted of more than 200 counts of forgery and filing unlawful liens. That was at the end of a six-day trial in Davidson County Criminal Court in Nashville in late April.
Their sentencing hearing was Wednesday. It lasted more than three hours.
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