CALGARY- A bizarre movement has left an Alberta woman out thousands of dollars—and perplexed law enforcement agencies across North America.
Rebekah Caverhill rented out half of her Calgary duplex to a man who was recommended as a tenant by a friend. He moved in during November of 2011, but only paid her half of the rent they agreed on. And that’s not the worst part.
The tenant claims to be a ‘Freeman-on-the-Land,’ saying the home is an ‘embassy’ and no longer belongs to Caverhill. He went as far as to change the locks, and do renovations which he then charged Caverhill for—resulting in a lien against her home.
“I can’t handle it, I just can’t,” Caverhill cries. “I just want him to leave, get out. That’s all I want.
“I go from anger to crying my eyes out, and I don’t know what to do, and the stress has been terrible. Absolutely terrible.”
The tenant told her his name is Andreas Pirelli—which is believed to be an alias. There is a video of him on YouTube under the name Mario Antonacci, where he gives a lesson on what a ‘Sovran Unity Nations Embassy’ is.
Freeman-on-the-Land is a growing movement, that could number as many as 30,000 in Canada. It is also in the United States, where the FBI considers the group a domestic terror threat. ‘Freeman,’ or ‘Sovereign Citizens’ believe that law only governs them if they consent to be governed, and believe they live under ‘natural laws.’ This leads them to avoid taxes, mortgages and utility bills among things.
Caverhill says she’s tried to convict Pirelli to no avail, and police referred her to civil courts, saying it was a landlord-tenant dispute. Police are now talking to Crown to determine if any charges can be laid.
“It may have started out as civil, but this is criminal now,” Caverhill complains. “I have a fraudster, someone trying to take my home.”
Service Alberta is now involved in the case, but Caverhill has been told she needs to get a court order to try and force Pirelli out.