Sovereign Movement Member Gets Prison Sentence - 8 News NOW

Sovereign Movement Member Gets Prison Sentence

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LAS VEGAS -- A member of the anti-government sovereign movement received a 98-month prison sentence for his conviction on conspiracy and money laundering crimes, Nevada's U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said Wednesday.

Shawn Rice, 50, of Seligman, Ariz., was also ordered by U.S. District Judge James Mahan in Las Vegas to pay $95,782 in restitution. Rice was convicted by a jury in July of one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, 13 counts of money laundering, and four counts of failure to appear.

"Persons who commit financial crimes victimize organizations, government and the public," Bogden said. "Our office and our federal partners will work jointly with local and state law enforcement to ensure that these persons are caught and prosecuted."

According to evidence submitted at the trial, from about March 2008 to March 2009, Rice and co-defendant Samuel Davis, 57, of Council, Idaho, laundered roughly $1.3 million from March 2008 to March 2009 that they thought came from the theft and forgery of stolen bank checks. The government argued that Rice and Davis laundered the money through a nominee trust account controlled by Davis and an account of an alleged religious organization controlled by Rice. Davis and Rice were alleged to have taken $74,000 and $22,000 respectively for their money laundering services.

Davis, a reputed national leader of the sovereign movement, pleaded guilty and was sentenced in October 2011 to 57 months in prison. But he failed to self-report to federal prison, and was arrested in August in Stanley, S.D. Davis was convicted of violating his conditions of release and failing to self-surrender, and sentenced to an additional eight months in prison.

The case was investigated by the FBI-led Nevada Joint Terrorism Task Force, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys J. Gregory Damm and Nicholas Dickinson.


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