‘Sovereign’ Money Launderer Convicted After Two Years on Run
Federal prosecutors in Las Vegas have obtained the second conviction in a case involving two “sovereign citizen” extremists who laundered $1.3 million provided by undercover FBI agents investigating a network of sovereigns.
After a two-day nonjury trial that ended yesterday, Shawn Talbot Rice, 49, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and 13 counts of money laundering. He was also convicted on four separate counts of failure to appear in court.
Rice was taken into custody last Dec. 22 after a 10-hour standoff with FBI agents and local police in Seligman, Ariz. He had been on the run for two years after failing to appear in court for a hearing in which prosecutors hoped to revoke an order allowing him to act as his own attorney.
He could receive up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy and money-laundering counts when he is sentenced on Oct. 24. He could be sentenced to an additional 10 years for each failure-to-appear charge.
Rice’s co-defendant, Samuel Lynn Davis, 57, pleaded guilty to bank fraud and money laundering in March 2011 and apologized to Nevada U.S. District Judge James Mahan for his actions. The judge sentenced him in October to 57 months in prison and ordered him to pay $95,782 in restitution to the government.