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TBI & FBI GET 320-COUNT INDICTMENT AGAINST MULTIPLE INDIVIDUALS

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A year-long joint investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Knoxville Division of the FBI has resulted in a 320-count indictment, and the arrests of ten individuals on charges of unlawfully filing liens and making false entries into records. At the request of 7th Judicial District Attorney General Dave Clark, in May 2016, TBI Special Agents began investigating reports that, over a period of several years, multiple individuals from East Tennessee had filed Uniform Commercial Code liens and financing statements with the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office in Nashville. The liens were filed against dozens of different individuals across the state, encumbering their property. Amounts ranged from $4 million to $12 million. The victims who had these liens filed against them range from citizens employed by government entities, police officers and attorneys, to elected and appointed officials, including city and county mayors, sheriffs, and members of the judiciary. The case was prosecuted in Nashville with the Davidson County Grand Jury returning indictments charging the  individuals on charges of  Drawing a Lien without a Legal Basis, and Forgery $250,000 or more. Simultaneous arrests of the individuals took place on Wednesday in Anderson, Cocke, Greene, and Knox counties. Those arrested and charged include:

 

Michael Robert Birdsell, 54, Andersonville – 8 counts Draw a Lien without a Legal Basis, 8 counts Forgery $250,000 or more. Bond $150,000.
*Austin Gary Cooper, 68, Clinton – 10 counts Draw a Lien without a Legal Basis, 10 counts Forgery $250,000 or more. Bond $150,000.
*Lee Harold Cromwell, 67, Oak Ridge – 14 counts Draw a Lien without a Legal Basis, 14 counts Forgery $250,000 or more. Bond $150,000.
*Victor Douglas Bunch, 72, Powell – 17 counts Draw a Lien without a Legal Basis, 17 counts Forgery $250,000 or more. Bond $150,000.
*Christopher Alan Hauser, 51, Del Rio – 21 counts Draw a Lien without a Legal Basis, 21 counts Forgery $250,000 or more. Bond $150,000.
*Ronald James Lyons, 52, Newport – 30 counts Draw a Lien without a Legal Basis, 30 counts Forgery $250,000 or more. Bond $150,000.
*James Michael Usinger, 64, Greeneville – 22 counts Draw a Lien without a Legal Basis, 22 counts Forgery $250,000 or more. Bond $150,000.
*John Jeffrey Williams, 50, Powell – 3 counts Draw a Lien without a Legal Basis, 3 counts Forgery $250,000 or more. Bond $25,000.
*George Edward Williams, 76, Powell – 3 counts Draw a Lien without a Legal Basis, 3 counts Forgery $250,000 or more. Bond $25,000.
*Kenneth Ray Foust, 73, Clinton – 3 counts Draw a Lien without a Legal Basis, 3 counts Forgery $250,000 or more. Bond $25,000. (Currently in custody in the Anderson County Jail).

pictures courtesy of WVLT.