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Self-Proclaimed Sovereign Citizen Charged with Writing Fake Checks

LANSING - A Macomb County man who attempted to pay the Michigan Department of Treasury (Treasury) with fraudulent checks now faces felony charges, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today. 

This matter was referred to the Department of Attorney General's Financial Crimes Division from Treasury, leading to further investigation and charges. 

In January 2021, Damon Montgomery, 54, sent three checks to Treasury in an attempt to pay his taxes. Each check contained TCF Bank routing numbers and was made payable to the State of Michigan for $1,000,000. The checks bounced because Montgomery did not have an account at TCF Bank. 

Montgomery asserts that he is a Sovereign Citizen and exempt from certain Michigan law, including paying taxes. 

He now faces three counts of no-account check, felonies punishable by two years in prison or $500. The charges were filed in Ingham County's 54-A District Court. 

"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.  We will continue to work with our partners at Treasury to ensure fairness."

The case has been assigned to Judge Louise Alderson in Ingham County. Arraignment has been scheduled for Feb. 22 at 9:30 a.m. 

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Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Attorney General's office does not provide photos of defendants.