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Woman allegedly filed false liens

Nov. 9, 2012 at 4:05 PM

CHICAGO, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- A Chicago woman who claims to be a "sovereign citizen" has been charged with filing false liens against federal officials, U.S. prosecutors said Friday.

Cherron Marie Phillips, who also uses the name "River Tali," falsely said officials, including former Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and James Holderman, chief judge of the U.S. District Court in the northern district of Illinois, owed her brother $100 billion, the indictment charged. The investigation was handled by Stephen R. Wigginton, U.S. attorney for the southern district of Illinois.

"We take these cases very seriously," Wigginton said. "We will continue to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law all who seek to intimidate, harass and retaliate against federal judges and employees by filing false liens against their property. Federal workers, and all workers, should be able to fairly do their jobs without fear of this kind of harassment."

Phillips' brother has been convicted in connection with the case, the Chicago Tribune reported. Phillips was barred last year from entering the federal courthouse in Chicago.

Sovereign citizens, believers in an offshoot of the white supremacist Christian Identity movement, assert they are subject only to natural law. The FBI classifies the movement as a domestic terrorist group.

Phillips faces up to 10 years in prison if she is convicted.

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