Accused sovereign citizen convicted on 18 counts

Leighton Ward (WSMV)

The man who made multiple bizarre YouTube videos teaching how mortgages are fraudulent, and convincing people across the country that it was true, is now a convicted felon.

An Arizona jury found Leighton Ward guilty on 18 felony counts of fraudulent schemes, theft, forgery, releasing false documents and false notarization.

Ward has been the subject of an ongoing News4 I-Team investigation that found him trying to convince people that their mortgages are fraudulent, and in some cases, resulting in people stopping paying their mortgages and ending up in default.

Ward, accused by critics for being a sovereign citizen, also faces criminal charges in connection to his efforts to convince a Nolensville family that they were trespassing in their own home.

In June, Ward’s sister, Noel Sims, who also faces criminal charges for the Nolensville incident, said her brother truly believes that mortgages are fraudulently written and he is trying to right a serious wrong.

Steve Auld, an investigator with the Mohave County Attorney’s office in Arizona, said during the trial in July that Ward never indicated he did anything wrong.

The criminal charges accused Ward of taking people’s money in order to file complaints about the fraudulent mortgages in what he called the Federal Postal Court.

The court is not real, but through Ward and his colleagues, rulings were issued that were then entered into city and county court systems, marring properties with bogus rulings that did nothing to alleviate people of their mortgages.

“He never really acknowledged that he had taken other people's money under false pretenses. He never showed remorse or indicated that he'd done anything wrong,” Auld said.

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