Sentencing Set for Paul Sellors After Jury Finds Him Guilty of Using Counterfeit United States Court Seal
Judge Rules Thursday That Sellors Must Stay in Custody Pending Sentencing
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 06, 2013|
DENVER—A November 6, 2013 sentencing date has been scheduled for Paul Earnest Sellors, age 70, of Saint Anthony, Minnesota, after a jury in federal court in Denver found him guilty of four counts of using a counterfeit seal of a United States Court. Following a detention hearing Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Craig B. Shaffer ordered Sellors to remain in custody pending sentencing in the case.
A jury found Sellors guilty of using a forged and counterfeit seal of the “United States of America District Court, District of Minnesota,” to authenticate fraudulent documents, including an order to set trial by jury, an order of custody, and orders to reschedule jury trials. The jury returned the guilty verdicts last week following a two-day trial. Sellors faces up to five years in prison on each count of conviction when he is sentenced in November.
At trial, prosecutors called eight witnesses who established that Sellors sent multiple fake court documents by certified mail to various individuals and that he signed the fake court documents as a judge. The counterfeit pleadings mimicked the format and style of documents commonly filed or produced in federal courts and, most significantly, included a counterfeit court seal of the “United States of America District Court, District of Minnesota” on each of the documents. The recipients of the fake court documents included the Colorado federal district court judge, prosecutor, and federal agent involved in a previous successful prosecution against co-defendant Ronald Roy Hoodenpyle, who had filed a false lien against a government employee. According to instructions in some of the fake court documents, the recipients were ordered to appear for a jury trial as defendants in a civil action in Minnesota.
Sellors represented himself at trial and took the stand as a witness in his own defense. During testimony, he produced copies of documents that he asserted gave him authority as a judge in an alternative government organization, the Republic for the united [sic] States of America (RuSA). Evidence at trial showed that Mr. Sellors received his appointment from now-convicted felon, RuSA President Tim Turner, and that Sellors had been deeply involved in the RuSA derivative known as the Free State of Minnesota or Minnesota Republic. He claimed in testimony and pre-trial motions that the true United States Government and the United States District Court lacked authority to prosecute and adjudicate him for the conduct alleged in the indictment.
Hoodenpyle, age 71, of Colorado Springs, pleaded guilty in August to one count of using a counterfeit seal of a United States Court. Hoodenpyle admitted that on August 24, 2012, he and a co-defendant used a counterfeit seal of a United States court to authenticate a proceeding or document. He was sentenced to two months in prison to be served consecutive to other sentences he is serving. He will be on supervised release for three years when he concludes his prison sentence.
The case against Sellors and Hoodenpyle is being prosecuted in Denver by Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the District of Utah. The case is being investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, and the U.S. Marshals Service.