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Federal prisoner tries to file liens against guards

POSTED May 29, 2012 10:56 p.m.

A federal jury found an Atwater inmate guilty of 14 counts of attempting to file false liens and encumbrances against federal prison officers in violation of the Court Security Improvement Act of 2007.

Denard Darnell Neal, 49, of Avondale, Ariz., was trying to file false liens against the federal prison officers at the United States Penitentiary Atwater, where he is being incarcerated, according to the U. S. Attorney’s Office.

At trial, the evidence showed that in April 2010 Neal attempted to file false liens against the personal property of federal officers, specifically corrections officers and staff at the Atwater facility. Neal prepared false Uniform Commercial Code financing statements and security agreements purporting to make the officers his debtors. The false liens ranged in amounts from $5,000 to $45 million. Neal then attempted to send the documents to his mother with instructions on how she should file the liens with the California Secretary of State and Merced County Recorder.

Neal faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. Neal is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 20.

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