Sovereign Citizen Convicted for Rental Scam

Sovereign Citizen Convicted for Rental Scam

A self-proclaimed sovereign citizen has pleaded guilty to taking possession of government-owned properties in Memphis and renting out the homes for profit.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A self-proclaimed sovereign citizen has pleaded guilty to taking possession of government-owned properties in Memphis and renting out the homes for profit.

Devitoe Farmer, 46, pleaded guilty to three counts of theft of government property during a Monday court hearing.

Investigators say Farmer filed quit claim deeds for three HUD-owned properties in early 2011, then rented one property to an unsuspecting tenant. When questioned about the property, the tenant provided a lease agreement made with Farmer.

One of Farmer's relatives was living in another property. HUD-contracted real estate agents noted that "For Sale" signs had been removed and all the locks had been changed at the three homes.

In the paperwork filed with the Shelby County Register of Deeds Office, Farmer claimed to be a sovereign citizen, which means he does not believe federal, state or local laws apply to him.

Devitoe Farmer is scheduled to be sentenced on August 13. He faces a maximum of 30 years in federal prison and $750,000 in fines.

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