In the mind of the modern "sovereign citizen," the government not only has no authority to collect taxes or impose justice, it also owes money to every citizen smart enough to ask for it. In Kenneth Leaming's case, the FBI says he thinks he's owed billions of dollars.
According to charging documents filed in federal court, Leaming allegedly filed multiple frivolous liens against judges and law enforcement officers, which were designed to intimidate them into releasing him from jail.
The liens demand payment of billions of dollars. In one case, agents say Leaming filed a lien demanding $225,000,000,000, from U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary M. Collier and other federal officials.
In another case, Leaming is said to have planned to send lien notices to the school of a judge's children, and to track down other "off duty" hangouts of other judges.
In emails cited by the FBI, Leaming even appears to suggest targeting President Obama, called him "body odor."
"Someone has suggested we go after body odor in the White House," Leaming is said to have written in an email to federal inmate David Carroll Stephenson.
Leaming, as it turns out is alleged to be close friends with another Washington state "Sovereign" who was recently charged with tax fraud: Raymond Jarlik Bell, of Yelm
Leaming is allegedly part of the Little Shell Pembina Band, a Washington-based Sovererign group that is described by the Anti-Defamation League as "an anti-government extremist group." The ADL even mentions Leaming by name on its website, describing him as such:
Kenneth "Keny" Wayne Leaming (Tribal Prosecuting Attorney). Leaming, a self-described "recognized international lawyer" and "Attorney in Fact" is a Spanaway, Washington-based former deputy sheriff and member of the Civil Rights Task Force, a sovereign citizen group that has used badges and raid jackets to resemble law enforcement officers. His CRTF partner, David Carroll Stephenson, was ordered by a federal court in March 2004 to stop promoting an alleged tax scam that allowed people to avoid an estimated $43 million in federal income taxes.
Leaming and his ilk believe that the federal government has twisted American law around for nefarious and self-serving purposes, and that only other Sovereigns know what's truly legal and illegal under "common law."
In actuality, however, Sovereigns are routinely arrested for tax evasion, intimidation and other charges and their philosophy never seems to get them anywhere but jail.
Read the full charging documents below.