DENVER (CN) – A man convicted of asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to pay his debts entertained an incredulous 10th Circuit panel Thursday.
Last May, Gunther Glaub was found guilty of making false claims after he submitted $1.7 million in debts to the USDA, including $73,000 for a Corvette, $65,000 for a Camaro bill, and a student loan owed to the U.S. Department of Education. Glaub included a note with the debts, politely asking the USDA to settle his debts.
While he faced a hefty prison sentence, Glaub was eventually fined $500, given five years’ probation and ordered to do 100 hours of community service.
In its February 2017 press release, the Department of Justice hyperbolized Glaub’s crime as an attempt “to use stolen government money to buy expensive cars and pay student loans.”
The FBI reportedly believed that Glaub was a member of the Sovereign Citizens – a broad term for individuals who deny the legitimacy of the U.S. government and acknowledge only common law.
On its website, the FBI lists Sovereign Citizens as a domestic terrorist movement that causes “all kinds of problems – and crimes. For example, many sovereign citizens don’t pay their taxes. They hold illegal courts that issue warrants for judges and police officers. They clog up the court system with frivolous lawsuits and liens against public officials to harass them.”
The FBI labels such acts as “paper terrorism.”
Sovereign Citizens believe there is a loophole in the system that allows the federal government to settle individuals’ private debts.
Glaub’s attorneys later clarified that he never took the stand and never testified to being a member of the Sovereign Citizens movement.