Posts Tagged ‘new age’

New Age “sovereign citizens” found guilty of bank robbery

February 4th, 2018


Mugshots of Heather Ann Tucci-Jarraf and Randall Beane from the Knox County Sheriff website.
 

Recently a strange “sovereign citizen” court case caught my eye due to one of the defendants involved. If you’re not aware, sovereign citizens are people who believe for various reasons they’re beyond the reach of law, often because they found some kind of legal cheat code that gets them off the hook for anything from a parking ticket to a standoff with the FBI.

In this trial and as in so many other sovereign citizen cases, both defendants were found guilty. But before we get into that, let’s take a trip down memory lane so I can explain why this is relevant to my interests.
 
 

Free energy and a flight to Morocco

Four years ago I wrote a post on this blog titled Anatomy of a free energy scam in which I detailed a woman calling herself HopeGirl who kept raising money to build a free energy machine. (Many of the links in that blog posts no longer work but you can still find backups on Archive.org.) Shocker: four years later, the QEG free energy machine still doesn’t work.

HopeGirl and friends wound up moving to a community of like minded folks in Aouchtam, Morocco. This community evolved out of an odd hybrid group called One People’s Public Trust (OPPT), which mixed sovereign citizen beliefs with bizarre financial ideas and some New Age woo thrown in for good measure.

Before the relocation to Morocco, OPPT filed a series of documents which they believe “foreclosed” on the US federal government as well as major corporations, banks, and the Federal Reserve. Yet they curiously continued asking for donations in US currency, almost as though they didn’t actually believe what they were saying at all.

One of the main players behind OPPT was a former prosecutor known as Heather Ann Tucci-Jarraf — let’s just call her Heather. At some point Heather had been married to a man from Morocco, which could explain OPPT’s decision to move there.

Aside from functioning as a lawyer of sorts for the group Heather also helped spread a philosophy of BEing and DOing. You can learn more about this at a website run by Heather and her followers, although I’ll warn you right now that it involves watching hours of long, poorly made YouTube videos that no sane person would ever be able to sit through.

Do the terms BE and DO sound familiar in this context? HopeGirl’s website and forum for her QEG magic energy machine was located at be-do.com (site now dead, link is to an archive.org backup copy.) HopeGirl eventually became disenchanted with the New Age weirdos who she joined in Morocco and publicly distanced herself from the group, which she explains here. Unfortunately her realization was short lived, as HopeGirl continues blogging about free energy, “chemtrails,” “orgone,” and other magical thinking that still sounds suspiciously New Age-y.

Between Heather and HopeGirl moving to Morocco together and their shared terminology at the time, I hope you can see how my interest in the QEG scam eventually led me to try and piece together what happened to Heather when she popped up in the news recently.
 
 

Numerology bank robbery

Here’s the story behind the case as I understand it based on the court documents as well as newspaper articles. Links to these articles and related online forum threads are at the end of this blog post.

A US Air Force veteran in Knoxville, Tennessee named Randall Beane got himself into some serious financial debts despite making a six figure salary as a software engineer.

Rather than turn to a financial advisor or even trying to refinance on his own, Randall turned to YouTube where he found a video channel run by a man calling himself Harvey Dent, named after Batman villain Two-Face. Is your Spidey sense going off yet… oh sorry, wrong comic.

Harvey Dent’s YouTube channel is difficult to describe. It’s a mix of crazed rants on various topics, most of which are mercifully short. He’s a self-styled guru who claims to lead an “intellectual freedom movement,” whatever that means. He also has a tendency to erupt in laughter at random times which makes the videos a challenge to take seriously.

At some point Randall allegedly came across one of Harvey Dent’s videos, possibly this one, that explains a sovereign citizen concept about how the government is somehow monetizing our birth certificates with secret Federal Reserve accounts that can be accessed through some kind of… numerology? It’s bafflingly incoherent. (Note: Harvey deleted his previous YouTube channel, so it could have been one of his older videos that’s no longer available.)

Randall decided to go with this scheme he learned about from Harvey Dent’s video and somehow wound up enlisting Heather’s help, presumably because she was promoting the video. Taking Heather and Harvey’s advice, Randall withdrew money from his super duper secret bank account at the Federal Reserve and deposited into a certificate of deposit (CD) at his bank, USAA. Due to some fluke this temporarily worked, and he immediately used that money to purchase a luxury motor home for half a million dollars.

Heather and her friends’ website deserves some credit for posting actual court documents from her case — even if they apparently don’t believe the court is legitimate presumably due to the aforementioned foreclosure against the government. Regardless much can be gleaned from the court documents.

For context in understanding some of Heather’s court document filings, the frequently cited Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) is a suggestion for a framework of laws to facilitate commerce between individual states. Most states adopted UCC into their own laws in one form or another, but it’s important to remember that UCC is a recommendation for laws rather than laws in and of themselves. This distinction is something Heather seems to willfully ignore in her (many) irrelevant filings.
 
 

Go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect a half-million dollar motor home

Randall’s bank transactions quickly raised red flags. Not only was the initial deposit into the CD a banking error, but withdrawing money from a CD prior to the maturity date incurs a significant penalty.

Before Randall could even drive “his” motor home away — presumably with the intent to sell it and pay off his debts — FBI agents arrested him.

Heather intervened on Randall’s behalf by going all the way to the top of the government she allegedly foreclosed upon, showing up unannounced at the White House for an impromptu meeting with Trump.

The Secret Service had none of Heather’s shenanigans, getting in touch with the FBI instead. After an identity hearing Heather was shipped off to be tried along with Randall in a court in Knoxville.

Heather and Randall chose to represent themselves in court. And by represent I mean they did very little, aside from re-filing court decisions with Heather’s fingerprints and the word “REJECTED” written on the documents. It’s not clear they even participated in jury selection. At least Heather had the foresight to bail herself out while leaving Randall in jail, as any good attorney would.

Needless to say both Heather and Randall were found guilty and now face significant sentences. Heather faces conspiracy money laundering. Randall faces bank and wire fraud. Now behind bars, both are scheduled to be sentenced in June.
 
 

Conclusion

The sad thing about this case is there aren’t really any winners. Ultimately taxpayers pick up the cost for court cases and incarceration, while the Federal Reserve clearly messed up when they allowed a fraudulent transfer to take place.

Worse yet, I’m not sure Heather’s followers will learn anything when they can spin this as a pair of heroic citizens fighting “the man” and losing in a court they don’t think is legitimate. No matter what happens it’s difficult to imagine Heather’s clan from seeing this as an abuse of power from a government they don’t recognize.

For his part Randall seems like the dopey fall guy. I’m not saying he deserves to get off the hook for what he did, but he’s likely to get the tougher sentence for being the one who executed the robbery in his own name despite not being the mastermind behind the scheme. He seems to me an extreme case of what can happen if you believe everything you see on the internet.

Still it’s reassuring for us Americans to know the FBI and Secret Service can do their jobs even in this turbulent era. The worst outcome would have been Randall and Heather getting away with bank robbery. Thankfully they did not.
 
 

References

These news reports are the sources for most of the information in this blog post:

The following web forum threads helped provide context and information while researching the trial:

 

Update
The Daily Beast wrote an excellent piece on this saga: Sovereign Citizen Convicted After Giving Advice on Plundering Federal Reserve

Update July 2018
Heather was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison, followed by a supervised release.