Mayesville Man Convicted of Passing Millions of Dollars in Bogus Government Checks
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 04, 2013|
COLUMBIA, SC—William N. Nettles, United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina, announced today that Charlie McCants Jr., age 66, of Mayesville, was found guilty after a jury trial on seven counts of attempting to pass bogus government checks. Facts presented at trial indicated that McCants claims to be a sovereign citizen. Sovereign citizens are U.S. citizens who reject their citizenship status and claim that the government is operating outside of its jurisdiction. Sovereign citizens generally do not recognize the authority of federal, state, or local governments and renounce their obligation to adhere to the laws, policies, or regulations created by those governments.
According to the testimony in the case, McCants claimed to have renounced his citizenship through the filing of several bizarre financial documents, thereby creating the ability to pay his debts using the United States Treasury. Evidence presented at the trial showed McCants used bogus checks to purchase two Dodge trucks from a Sumter dealership. McCants also used bogus checks to pay for hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of chiropractic services and even attempted to purchase three million dollars’ worth of logging equipment from a Newberry dealership. Sentencing in the case has not yet been scheduled, but McCants faces a possible sentence of 25 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.
This investigation and convictions were pursued in furtherance of the FBI’s national strategy aimed at disrupting the criminal activity of individuals claiming to be sovereign citizens and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney T. DeWayne Pearson of the Columbia Office.