MARIETTA — Two self-proclaimed “sovereign citizens” are each facing up to 40 years in prison after being convicted of violating state racketeering laws for trying to take control of homes they did not own in Cobb, Fulton, DeKalb and Forsyth counties.
Jurors took about four hours to convict Susan Lorraine Weidman, 52, of Kennesaw of three counts of racketeering and corruption charges and Matthew Lowery, 29, of Alpharetta on two counts.
“The ludicrous ‘explanations’ these defendants gave for going into vacant houses and trying to claim them as their own defies common sense, and the jurors saw that,” said John Melvin, deputy chief assistant district attorney. “Ms. Weidman went so far as to create a fictitious law firm and assume fake names. If she believed what she was doing was legal, as she claimed, she wouldn’t have to lie about it. This verdict should send a message to all sovereign citizens: Don’t commit your crimes in Cobb County.”
In one instance, Weidman entered a vacant home at 130 Champlain St., Decatur, changed the locks, and then filed false documents with the Clerk of Superior Court in DeKalb to claim the property. She then lied to detectives investi-gating the case.
Lowery and others also occupied a house on Shade Tree Way in Cumming, and when challenged by a real estate firm representing the bank, Weidman sent a letter from a nonexistent law firm signed by a nonexistent lawyer on behalf of a nonexistent property-management firm threatening legal action if agents entered the property again.
Cobb Superior Court Judge A. Gregory Poole set sentencing for 1:30 p.m. on March 7.
District Attorney Vic Reynolds said the case required exhaustive time and effort from Melvin.
Weidman was represented by Marietta attorney John Allen Hilderbrand. Lowery was represented by Charles Engelberger III of Marietta.
In January, a Kennesaw father and son who were indicted with Weidman and Lowery pleaded guilty in the case. Giulio Glenn Greye, 61, was sentenced to five years, with two years to serve in prison. Ian Greye, 34, was sentenced to 10 years, with two years to serve in prison.