"Bill of Exchange"  ("BoE") Indictments
(and other similar items)

(modified June 28, 2008)

For too many years, there has always been some party or group promoting the use of some sort of financial instrument to pay “debts” of various kinds. For example, about 10 years ago, some madmen from Tigerton, Wisconsin, offered commercial instruments to pay debts. Since banks only loan credit, these instruments also promised to only pay credit. Slowly this undertaking gathered steam, and within a couple of months was storming the country, with people attempting the buy homes and cars, among many other things, with these instruments. People were rejoicing that this was the “hot” issue and the solution for many. To make a long story short, indictments were returned against many who used these instruments, and the program went down in flames with the indictment of the promoters.

Thereafter, the Montana Freemen started issuing drafts and BoEs drawn on a closed bank account. I remember people possessing these Freemen drafts "payable" for millions of bux, and they deposited them in their bank accounts and attempted to use them to pay debts. We all know what happened.

Following this program in 1999 was the “redemption process” started by Roger Elvick, about which I have written elsewhere, as well as an improved version of the “redemption process” promoted by Wrong Way Law.  Then, Eddie Kahn and Barton Buhtz started programs advocating that people send creditors (including IRS) “bills of exchange.” 

Barton has been indicted and convicted. See Buhtz indictment. So has Eddie Kahn. Barton's indictment states that the first BoE was tendered on August 6, 2001, yet he was not indicted until September 9, 2005, more than 4 years later. Here are some more indictments:

Brent Gross indictment

The last of 8 counts charged passing a fictitious instrument.
He tendered his BoE on October 15, 2003, but was not indicted
until September 19, 2006, almost 3 years later.

Clifford Kidd indictment

See Counts 2 thru 6. He tendered his first BoE
on August 8, 2003, but was not indicted until Dec. 18, 2007,
more than 4 years later.

Kenneth Heath indictment

See last 2 counts. His BoEs were tendered August 13, 2003 and
December 23, 2003, yet he was not indicted until Dec. 8, 2005.

Jerry Lahr indictment

(extract with some pages taken out to create smaller file)
Lahr sent his first BoE on October 3, 2003, and was indicted 4.5 years later on April 8, 2008.
See Counts 6 through 10.

Ed Wahler indictment

See also Stout indictment.

More recently, Winfield Thomas has been the subject of a superseding indictment. The first indictment (not posted here) expressly mentioned the book, Cracking the Code, the Theory of Redemption, that advocated this issue. Here is the DoJ press release regarding this case.

This argument has recently been "refined" by others like Dr. Sam Kennedy. Aspects of this particular program involve the UCC argument, names in CAPS, "accept for value," etc. After reading explanations of this program, I fail to detect how this "new program" is materially different from the others.  People are being advised to tender bonds in criminal cases, so if you wish to read some pleadings by Mike Mason who did so, see:

Mason I
(argument about names in CAPS)

Mason II
("give 'em a bond!")

Mason III
(ask for Account)

Mason IV
("be sure to accept for value")

Mason V
("take a default")

Mike failed to appear, has a new indictment, and I certainly do not know where he is.

Others have long argued that an accused should "accept for value" indictments charging them with crimes.  Ed Atwell was indicted in South Carolina, and before trial, he filed a pleading withdrawing his not guilty plea, and at the same time, filed a copy of his indictment where he wrote "accept for value" across its face.  Of course, his indictment was not dismissed and he went to trial representing himself. His cross-exam of all government witnesses consisted of asking a question: "Do you have a claim against me?" In a short trial, he was convicted. He got 51 months jail time at sentencing.

Regarding civil matters, Mike Palma and others bought some Toyotas with these bills. Toyota was not paid and sued. You can read the complaint Toyota filed against them in the below "Affidavit of Truth" file, which has a copy of it. These defendants filed their "Affidavits of Truth" as well as their "notices of non-response". These pleadings did not scare away Toyota or its lawyers; Palma and Swank were jailed for contempt.

The docket sheet for this case shows that Palma has asserted his right against self-incrimination in response to Toyota's discovery requests.

Here is another long case that is useless to summarize. I just provide some of the many pleadings and let you be the judge.

In Arizona, a man named Bartschi was indicted for using "bills of exchange/registered bonds"; the jury returned its guilty verdicts on June 24, 2008.

Followers of these various programs get enraged at me, call me names, and otherwise engage in defamation because I analyze these various arguments. I have observed with all of these arguments several common features:

1. Claims that the argument is based on the "law": All of these programs assert that the promoters have researched the law and the argument is based on it. However, my experience is that virtually all of the legal aspects of these arguments are invented out of whole cloth, and they have no legal substance. Promoters take advantage of followers as they know followers will never take the time to visit a law library to confirm the validity of the argument and are only interested in the "hype".

2. Ephemeral "victories": Promoters always use anectdotal evidence that the program works. "Johnny paid his debt with this instrument," or "charges against Johnny were dropped." However, I have looked for evidence of such victories and only have discovered "hot air," and I encounter evidence otherwise; see above.  "Proof" consists of claims that cases disappear from court dockets. Each of the above promotions was hyped using similar anectdotal evidence. Look at the indictments for proof of the real results.

3. "Don't talk to lawyers": I went to Phoenix several years ago because some victims of a Ponzi scheme were getting into trouble. A paralegal deeply involved in promotion of this Ponzi always told new victims that lawyers worked for the Queen of England, were members of BAR, and thus should not be consulted. Of course this is nothing but a lie, and having encountered conmen many times who have done the same thing, I have concluded that one of the indicators of a conman is his advice not to talk with lawyers. This advice insures that the victims are all that much better to be screwed. A lawyer could have easily detected this Ponzi and some 65 million bux would not have been lost to the scammers.

Here is a note I received from a man who has watched this nonsense (I deleted his name):

Hi Larry. I have had several brag about getting people out of jail with all sorts of this stuff and so called prison bonds, blah, blah, blah. 1 guy in one of the local meeting told me I was full of ship and he could get people out of jail with these bonds they make up on their PC. Well I know 2 guys in Fort Devens in Ayer Mass and they are Steven XXXX and Preston XXXXX. I challenged him to travel to Ayer and get these guys out the next day. He sat down so fast it was stunning and no offer yet to get these guys out either. I guess talk is cheap. I think the claims of these gurus are questionable at best. I have seen some make up bonds and promissory notes on their PC and attempt to buy homes and cars. No success with that fraudulent paper either. I am a notary and have mailed off some 1099 OID crap for a guy I warned that it was a misuse of the form in my opinion and I stated it may very well bite him in the Axe. Well he got 6 frivolous penalties and a letter saying they may prosecute. I did the Schiff and the Thurston Bell stuff that is the same as the Hendrickson stuff and I was getting indicted for failure to file. Screw that I filed and sent a check for $50,000 and boy the IRS was pissed but I filed before the indictment was finished so I snatched victory from the Nazis. Better than going to jail. My opinion is that I am done with gurus and their crap. Even Winston Schrout stated in his Fort Collins seminar that he had never tried what he spouted. I ain't going first anymore.  The warnings you send are spot on and when I send them to friends that are doing some of this stuff they get pissed. Well how pissed will they be when they also get to sleep in Fort Devens. I am done with this crap.

Just do the math, Larry. A guru sets up a seminar and asks for $200 from each person. 50 attend so he collects $10,000. He blathers for 2 days and say he has expenses for travel and a room and some other stuff of $2,000 which is liberal so he goes home with $8,000 and does this 10 times a year and picks up clients along the way. Looks a lot better that actually working for a living.

I am helping a friend to finalize their IRS drama and get back their life from the Beast and we are out of this stuff. I have met one guru about 3 times and when he talks it scrambles my brain but he has followers that are more dedicated than a Muslim Bomber seeking the mythological 85 virgins. As for me I rather have an old pro woman my age,  and just watch those who are setting up abusive trusts and god only knows what else to see what happens when they ignore your warnings with actual court cases. I had one true believer of this stuff say that the cases you sent out were not exactly about what he was exactly doing. Well it looks exactly alike enough to land his ass in prison.

In summary, it is my opinion that the classic "con" or "snow-job" involves each of the above features. Frankly, I am tired of the liaryers, thieves and con-artists that travel through the freedom movement. And avoid anybody who constantly talks about the UCC or "commerce": they are either idiots or conmen.