Saturday, July 26, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Man with ties to domestic terrorism group allegedly threatens N.J. judge

A Wisconsin man who allegedly has ties to a domestic-terrorism organization is accused of filing false claims against a municipal court judge and 27 other people in retaliation to a parking violation brought against his wife in Voorhees, N.J.

Michael Rinderle, 29, of Waukesha, was charged last Tuesday with threatening a public servant, along with 28 counts of harassment.

Camden County prosecutors said Rinderle “became enraged” at a Voorhees Township municipal court judge after traffic offenses were filed against Rinderle’s wife, Joan Ellis.

Rinderle allegedly emailed the judge Sept. 26, 2013, and said he would financially ruin the judge if the charges weren’t dropped.

After the judge ignored Rinderle’s e-mail, Rinderle allegedly filed bogus commercial liens against the judge and 27 other officials, including court staff and police personnel, in Camden, Burlington and Gloucester counties.

The liens were filed without supporting evidence of debt and posed a threat to the victims’ credit ratings, according to investigators.

Prosecutors said Rinderle identifies with the "sovereign citizen movement," which the FBI lists as an extremist domestic terrorist threat.

The movement’s members recognize only common law and argue that federal, state and municipal codes have no authority over them, according to investigators.

Prosecutors said in a release that the harassment allegedly directed at the Voorhees judge is “typical for the organization,” which “attempts to use bureaucratic processes to engage in ‘paper terrorism.’ ”

Officials said Wisconsin authorities have been made aware of the allegations against Rinderle. Law enforcement agencies in multiple New Jersey counties are also investigating the claims.

These apparently are not the man’s first such charges.

Rinderle pleaded guilty last month in Wisconsin to a felony charge of threatening to injure a public official, court records show.

After a municipal court judge suspended Rinderle's driver’s license for unresolved traffic violations, Rinderle emailed the judge and told him he would make him his debtor if the license wasn't reinstated, according to a report from Living Lake Country.com.

When he was interviewed by police, Rinderle reportedly showed them legal paperwork and claimed he had filed commercial liens totaling $42 million against 28 people in four New Jersey townships.

Rinderle was sentenced to 60 days in jail, with credit for 47 days served, in connection with that case.

He was then slated to be extradited to Pennsylvania, where he faces charges for allegedly leading police on a chase in Dauphin County in September after officers tried to stop him for speeding.


Contact Alex Wigglesworth at 215-854-2305 or awigglesworth@philly.com. Follow @phila_lex on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.

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