A Missouri “sovereign citizen” charged with creating fake money orders tried to "enlighten" a detective by patiently explaining the complicated scheme.
John F. Gibson claimed he had the authority to draw money from the Federal Reserve and then retaliated against a bank branch manager after she cooperated in an investigation of his scheme, reported the Springfield News-Leader.
He used a computer about four years ago to create a fraudulent money order worth $1,500.
A phony “International Environmental Court” set up by Taney County, Illinois, sovereign citizens charged the People’s Bank manager with violating environmental laws and convicted her.
The bogus court found the bank manager liable for $2 billion worth of damages, prosecutors said.
Gibson was convicted of harassment in 2006 for threatening to place a levy on property owned by an Illinois judge in a separate case.
He offered to "enlighten" a detective about his rights as a sovereign citizen, although he conceded his system of beliefs was complicated.
"This is like you're in high school, and I'm a rocket scientist trying to explain to you how a rocket works and the physics behind it," Gibson tells a detective in a videotaped interview. "You can't understand it right now, but if you will please indulge me, I will explain this to you. It's going to take some time, though."
Sometime later, Gibson explains to the detective, whose posture suggests he is enduring a tedious ordeal, that "we are the creditors, and we can do that."
Gibson suggests to the detective that he should be fascinated by how a man of his education and background would even attempt the scheme he has laid out, and the investigator agrees he should probably be interested.
"That document's good, that money order," Gibson explains. "That's an order from the treasury -- me, a sovereign citizen, ordering money from the Treasury. It's my money, it's not the bank's. It's mine."
He continued to make the same claims throughout his trial, but Gibson entered an “Alford” plea Oct. 31, which means he did not admit guilt but conceded prosecutors had sufficient evidence to convict him.
Prosecutors had asked for five years of supervised probation, but Judge Calvin Holden sentenced Gibson to two years of unsupervised probation.
Watch video from Gibson's interview posted online by the Springfield News-Leader: