At least two people were sentenced by a Sacramento Court last February 23 for offering service which “for all (its) intent and purposes,” was automobile insurance. This was stated by Assistant U.S. Attorney Russel Carlberg and R. Steven Lapham in a joint statement after a U.S. District Court sentenced James Sidney Kalfsbeek, 72, and Donna Jean Rowe, 59, into 10 and four years of federal imprisonment respectively.
Kalfsbeek, a resident of Arbuckle, was found guilty of mail fraud, money laundering and conspiracy last June. He was a former Colusa County Supervisor. He also founded and served as chairman of the Puget Sound Agricultural Society Ltd. (PSASL) which was found-out to have sold products that resembles that of auto insurance. The fraud is said to be a multi-million dollar scheme.
Reports stated that Kalfsbeek and Rowe claim to be “sovereign citizens” and that the federal and state governments don’t govern them. Describing themselves as “organic, Christian people,” they believe that that U.S. does not have any authority over them.
The joint statement revealed that the main reason why said group did not pay for accidents involving cars insured by them is because they consider “pain and suffering as part of God’s plan.” Operating in the U.S. and neighboring Canada, several vehicular accidents were presented in court proving that they either avoided or failed to pay claims.
A homeless man was riding a bicycle in South Carolina when he figured in an accident involving a PSASL member. Instead of the $25,000 he sued for because of the injuries he sustained, the man only got $6,000. In another case, a woman was disabled and his companion was killed in an accident mishap involving another PSASL member. A $20 million lawsuit was filed and the complainants received no payment except a fake “bill of exchange” which was supposed to cost $20 million plus $5 million in interest. The bill was supposed to be brought to the Secretary of Treasury who would do the payment to the families.
Records reveal millions of dollars as fees were collected by PSASL that in a span of eight years. Although it paid small claims, large claims were generally ignored. As such, members who got involved in an accident had to settle out of their own pockets. Driver licenses were also suspended for not having authentic auto insurance. Its operations started in 1994 and ended in 2002. Aside from the $250 “premium fees” per vehicle, a lifetime membership fee of $500 was also collected. As such, a cease and desist order was issued by the State of California against PSASL.