Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo, Voorhees Police Chief Louis Bordi and Winslow Police Chief Robert Stimelski announced a Wisconsin man has been sentenced to prison for threatening a municipal court judge and filing false liens against that judge and more than two dozen other public officials in Winslow and Voorhees.
Michael G. Rinderele, M/30, of Waukesha, Wis., received a five-year term of imprisonment on Oct. 3 from Superior Court Judge Samuel D. Natal.
Rinderele pleaded guilty in August to one count of 3rd degree Threats and Other Improper Influence in Official and Political Matters and four counts of 4th degree Retaliation Against a Public Official for Past Official Conduct.
Under his plea, Rinderele admitted he threatened a Voorhees Township Municipal Court Judge due to traffic offenses filed against Rinderele’s common-law wife, Joann Ellis.
Rinderele emailed the judge on September 26, 2013, stating that he would financially ruin the judge if charges against Ellis weren’t dropped. He then filed fraudulent commercial liens against the judge and 27 other public officials in Voorhees and Winslow, including court staff and police personnel.
Rinderele identified with the Sovereign Citizen Movement, whose members advocate recognizing only common law and argue federal, state and municipal codes have no authority over them. The Federal Bureau of Investigation lists the Sovereign Citizen Movement as an extremist domestic terrorist threat.
Sovereign Citizens attempt to use bureaucratic processes to engage in “paper terrorism” and commonly use the type of fraudulent commercial liens filed by Rinderele as a form of harassment. These liens were filed without supporting evidence of a debt and can damage the credit rating of the victims.
During sentencing, Assistant Prosecutor Nevan Soumilas stated: “When this type of conduct particularly liens are placed against a public official or public employee it does have the potential to substantially limit their ability to conduct their finances which everyone has the right to do.”
“I know the federal government has a statute that categorizes this as ‘paper terrorism’ and the state statute does not, and perhaps the state will move in that direction,” she added.
In support of the recommended sentence, Soumilas argued that “a substantial sentence such as this one will reflect the seriousness of this offense.”
In addition to his prison term, Rinderele was ordered to pay more than $600 in fines and have no contact with the public officials he victimized, as well as any member of their families or households.
Rinderele also pleaded guilty to Eluding in Pennsylvania earlier this summer and received probation in Dauphin County, Pa.