A jeweler who defrauded such people as golfer Jack Nicklaus has teamed up in prison with a right-wing extremist and is trying to use his fellow prisoner’s tactics to harass his enemies, authorities and lawyers say, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
Borrowing an idea from extremist LeRoy Schweitzer, jeweler Jack Hasson has filed bogus motions and liens in a Circuit Court against retired developer and Detroit TV station owner Aben Johnson, from whom he stole $83 million, and Johnson’s attorneys. Hasson and Schweitzer are housed in a federal prison at Edgefield, S.C.
Schweitzer led the Montana Freemen, who used similar tactics to harass enemies and conned banks, businesses, and public agencies out of $1.8 million by using bogus checks, liens, and other legal maneuvers. When federal agents moved in to arrest the Freemen on a foreclosed Montana farm in 1996, a standoff ensued that lasted 81 days. The siege ended peacefully.
Court officials have refused to accept Hasson’s motions.
‘We have turned down a number of filings by Freemen,’ said Dorothy Wilken, Palm Beach County Court clerk. ‘Ordinarily, we don’t have the right to pass judgment on what people try to make a part of the public record, but we take the position that if something is not a legal instrument … we won’t put it in the public record,’ the AP reported.
Hasson is serving a 40-year sentence following his conviction last year on fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice charges. He sold fake, altered, and overpriced gems to Johnson, Nicklaus, and others.
Schweitzer is serving a 22-year sentence for fraud, firearms violations, conspiracy, and threatening public officials.
Hasson has also filed ‘judgments’ of $1.5 billion against Johnson and $750 million each against his attorneys, Joe McSorley and Alan Mishael. He wants to be paid in gold or silver.
McSorley said Hasson’s filings are the act of a ‘vindictive, petty little man,’ and said he doesn’t believe Hasson has adopted Schweitzer’s political beliefs, the AP reported.
‘It’s hard for me to see Jack Hasson ever subscribing to any organized belief system,’ McSorley said. ‘This is an opportunity to attempt to inflict misery on those he blames for his predicament.’