CONYERS -- Rockdale County Superior Court Judge David Irwin ordered a $100,000 bond for charges relating to foreclosure fraud for an Atlanta man who claimed to be a sovereign citizen and apparently "no team player in the World Cup," the judge said.
Akeem Kwame, 48, of Atlanta appeared before Irwin on Monday in connection with a May incident in which Kwame allegedly identified himself as a private banker and offered a Lions Gate Drive homeowner a quit claim deed so he could try to gain ownership of her home. The homeowner told authorities that someone, claiming to be her husband, called her mortgage company and did a loan modification on the foreclosure of the home, according to law enforcement reports. The Realtor selling the home called authorities when all the locks to the house had been changed and Kwame was seen leaving the residence in a Porsche. Kwame told responding deputies that he was buying the house from the bank. Kwame was arrested shortly afterward.
"The defendant considers himself to be part of a sovereign entity with no ties to the community, no identification and has access to other people's IDs through a mortgage business," Assistant District Attorney Debra Sullivan told the court Monday. "He uses aliases and moves into different addresses by posing as a buyer."
The prosecution's recommended bond amount was $330,000, the property's value.
Atlanta defense attorney Judy Kim, Kwame's attorney, said her client was apologetic and asked the judge to set a $30,000 bond.
"He does want to fight this. I don't see him as a flight risk, at all," Kim said.
Irwin questioned if Kwame needed psychiatric evaluation, based on Kwame's claims to sovereignty.
"Because when they write me letters ... and say 'I'm sovereign and not governed by anybody' ... it causes me to wonder about one's sanity," Irwin said.
Irwin set the bond at $100,000, saying Kwame had been in custody for more than 90 days and was entitled to a bond.
As a special condition, Irwin also ordered Kwame to surrender any passport and any ID card "saying he is a diplomat in his own mind or a diplomat for the country of whatever his country is."
Kwame is charged with first-degree forgery, financial identity fraud, theft by deception, criminal trespass, second-degree forgery and financial identity fraud.
Kwame's case is the second local case involving sovereign citizens that has popped up in Rockdale County.
Authorities in DeKalb County arrested Ivan Willis Taylor, 47, and Princess Donya Taylor, 41, of Stone Mountain on Aug. 19 on Rockdale County warrants relating to a July incident in Magistrate Court. Ivan Taylor was accused of making identification cards that claimed he was an ambassador of a sovereign state and had diplomatic immunity from arrest.
Princess Taylor's home on Avondale Drive was foreclosed on in October 2008. She filed reports with the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office in November 2008 claiming that SunTrust bank had forged her name on her security deed. Taylor claimed she paid the bank with a $237, 422.31 promissory note since she has a federal government account. Besides Princess Taylor's signature, the promissory note also had Ivan Taylor's and Akeem Kwame's signatures on it.
Ivan Taylor faces charges of false statements and writings and forgery in connection with the July incident.
Princess Taylor, 41, faces charges of residential mortgage fraud and failure to appear.