By Michael Davis
A Jackson man renting a home on Canterbury Court was evicted last week, after his landlord reportedly defaulted on the mortgage and tried to tie up the foreclosure with phony paperwork, Butts County authorities said.
Douglas Girard Collins, 34, is believed to be affiliated with a movement of so-called "sovereign citizens" known as Moorish Americans, Butts County Sheriff's Lt. Timothy Filbeck said. Collins, of Powder Springs, has been charged with residential mortgage fraud in what Filbeck said was a scheme to continue collecting $800 a month in rent from Billy Webb, on the Jackson home.
On Sept. 29, deputies evicted Webb, 50, from the home after Deutsche Bank National Trust Co., the mortgage holder, secured an eviction notice. Filbeck said a trail of paperwork had been filed in magistrate court in order to stall the foreclosure. He said Collins and his wife, Myeaser, apparently hold the loan on the property, and her name appears on much of the paperwork. She was not facing charges as of Tuesday.
"They defaulted on the loan, but they kept filing paperwork in magistrate court so they could keep collecting money from Mr. Webb," Filbeck said.
Filbeck said so-called sovereign citizens have been operating in a number of states and a number of metro Atlanta counties.
"This family here is part of a movement that doesn't believe in our government and abiding by the laws that everybody else in the state of Georgia and United States has to go by," Filbeck told an Atlanta television station last week.
Filbeck said Webb was not believed to be affiliated with the group, but is facing a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, after deputies found a handgun in the home.
Both Douglas Collins and Webb had been released from the Butts County Jail.
A phone listing for Douglas Collins in Powder Springs was disconnected.