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Sovereign citizen from Macomb County accused of paying taxes with fake checks

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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - A Macomb County man who claims he is a sovereign citizen is charged with attempting to pay state taxes with fake checks.

The Michigan Attorney General's Office charged the 54-year-old with three felony counts of writing checks with no accounts. He faces up to two years in prison and a $500 fine if convicted.

Attorney General Dana Nessel said the suspect sent three checks for $1 million to the Michigan Department of Treasury in January 2021 to pay his state taxes for 2020. 

The checks were written with a TCF Bank routing number, but all three bounced because Montgomery does not have accounts there. He told investigators that he is a sovereign citizen and exempt from certain laws, including taxes.

“As residents of Michigan, we share the legal obligation to pay income tax,” Nessel said. “These taxes pay for our schools, our roads, our government services. Cheating on taxes hurts everyone and is fundamentally unfair to everyone else who abides by the law."

The suspect is scheduled to appear in Ingham County District Court for arraignment on Feb. 22.

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