Anti-Government Militia Members Charged In Bizarre CU Extortion
KINGSTON, N.Y. – Three anti-government zealots were indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with an alleged scheme to extort money from public officials and top executives of Mid-Hudson Valley FCU after the credit union foreclosed on one of their homes.
The men belong to a group called the Restore America Plan, which doesn't believe in drivers' licenses, banks or birth certificates. It asks members to become “guardians of free republics,” according to court documents.
The bizarre plot came to light in April, when Ulster County and public workers brought a racketeering case against the alleged conspirators. The suit accused six people of intimidating government employees by sending them fraudulent bills and filing liens against their personal property, totaling $143 billion.
A top credit union executive, as well as employees of Ulster County, the towns of Lloyd, Rosendale and Ulster, local cops and one town judge, were hit with phony liens, according to court papers. The suit said the liens, among other things, affected the credit ratings of the plaintiffs.
The indictment charges when one of the suspects, identified as Richard Ulloa, fell into arrears on a mortgage held by Mid-Hudson Valley in December 2008 the credit union, by prior agreement, collected the amount in arrears from his savings account. The credit union then began foreclosure proceedings after the suspect subsequently fell back into arrears.
Ulloa began a campaign of harassment against the credit union, first sending numerous “Bills for Damage,” one alleging $46 million in damages. Last October, Ulloa filed a lien against one credit union executive claiming the executive owed him $2.82 billion. He also filed similar claims against other credit union executives.
In their invoices, the men called local governments “fictions” of “private corporations.” And Ulloa – who is defending himself in the racketeering case – signed each court paper with this salutation: “I pray to our Heavenly Father and not this court that justice be done.”
On June 22, federal authorities arrested Ulloa, 41, who faces four counts of mail fraud, and Ed Parenteau, 53, who was charged with mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. A third suspect, Jeffrey Burfeindt, 47, is still missing.
The stream of phony invoices and fraudulent liens started in 2009, after Ulloa and Parenteau were ticketed in separate incidents for driving without licenses. Ulloa later claimed he had an international driving permit.
But rather than hire lawyers and plead their cases in courts, the men and their alleged accomplices unleashed a barrage of fake paperwork, court documents said. Ulloa sent phony criminal invoices totaling $700 million to Rosendale Town Justice Robert Vosper. Parenteau filed a $62 billion federal lien against the Town of Lloyd and its police chief.