August 21, 2009

York supporters file common-law claims seeking $1 billion

Macon Telegraph/October 23, 2003
By Rob Peecher
Eatonton -- Supporters of Nuwaubian leader Malachi York filed documents Wednesday with the Putnam County Clerk of Superior Court, demanding that state and local prosecutors, judges and law officers pay York more than $1 billion.

York, who is scheduled to appear before U.S. District Judge Ashley Royal for a status hearing Friday, faces numerous state and federal charges of molesting children.

The documents, which appear to be based on what is known as "common law" and frequently utilized by anti-government militias to harass public officials, also were filed in two child support actions against York.

Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills, who is named among those owing York $1.069 billion, described the documents as "gobbledygook."

"It's hard to explain what they are," Sills said. "Once again, it's more of the same common law, (Uniform Commercial Code) filings that we've seen before. There's been a plethora of this about. There were recent incidents in DeKalb County involving fraud in housing purchases up there, and I'm aware of other similar filings by Nuwaubians in Bibb County recently."

York is the leader of the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors, a quasi-religious sect that moved from New York to Putnam County in 1993. The group established its base at a 476-acre compound west of Eatonton where it erected pyramids, a sphinx and other Egyptian-style structures.

York was arrested in May 2002 and charged with more than 200 counts of molesting children. He pleaded guilty in January, but this summer U.S. District Court Judge Hugh Lawson rejected the 15-year negotiated sentence. Lawson later recused himself from the case, and now the case is before Royal.

York has not withdrawn his guilty plea, but he is scheduled to go to trial in January on the federal charges.

Officials in the Bibb County Superior Court clerk's office confirmed there had been a number of recent UCC filings, but declined to comment. Clerk of Court Dianne Brannen was unavailable for comment Wednesday.

The documents filed in Putnam County each exceed 30 pages. Among those named in the document demanding public officials to pay York more than $1 billion are: Sills; Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit Chief Judge William A. Prior and District Attorney Fred Bright; U.S. Attorney Max Wood and Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Moultrie; U.S. District Judge Hugh Lawson; one of York's own attorneys, Manny Arora; and the Holy Roman Empire.

Most of the documents bear the signature of "David R. Williams" or "David Paul Williams."

The documents contain virtually nonsensical language, such as: "The purpose for notary is verification and identification only and not for entrance into any foreign U.S. jurisdiction, a benefit for the pagans and heathens so they whom I pray may become knowledgeable in the truth for matters in law by the creator Anu the Most High Heavenly one and repent, so they will no longer be alienated from their true creator, Anu the Creator of Heaven and Earth."

Mike Smith, the communications director for the Georgia Superior Court Clerk's Authority, said his office only keeps track of UCC filings and does not determine the legitimacy of the filings. But Smith said he is aware that "nuisance filings" are a problem in other states such as Oregon, where clerks are attempting to get legislation passed to address the problem. Legitimate UCC filings are filed by financial institutions or others lending money.

Sills said the documents were delivered by the same courier who delivered similar documents to the clerk of court in July. Among those was a document purporting to be signed by the governor, and Sills said at the time there might be charges pending against the person responsible for the forged document.

While the courier claims to have no knowledge of the contents of the documents, Sills said he admitted being a Nuwaubian.

Sills noted that York's followers have filed similar documents numerous times just before a hearing was scheduled. In July, two of York's followers met with and hand-delivered similar documents to Judge Lawson about two hours before a scheduled hearing.

York's attorneys Arora and Ed Garland did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

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