Extremists charged in real estate racket

ATLANTA, Aug. 19 (UPI) — Self-styled “sovereign citizens” have taken over at least 19 properties in north Georgia, prosecutors say.

They claim immunity from state and federal laws and assert that banks can’t own land and that any home owned by a bank is free for the taking, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The FBI has listed them as “paper terrorists.” Members of the movement have been linked to multiple insurance fraud and tax evasion scams, along with some violent crimes.

Prosecutors said Georgia’s sovereign citizens follow the pattern of other anarchist movements, filing lawsuits and liens against police, officials and anyone who challenges them.

Although American-born, they make up their own drivers’ licenses, with seals of non-existent countries. Many of the suspects have multiple names and a history of not paying taxes.

Investigators have tied the sovereign citizens to at least 19 property thefts in Georgia, including mansions and a shopping center.

Georgia authorities have charged six people with violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corruption Organizations Act. Warrants have been issued for five others.

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