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Freemen’s financial papers challenged as worthless

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Lawyers for the Freemen were again warned by a judge not to claim the group's financial documents were valid, while an expert witness - for the defense - agreed the papers were worthless.

The Freemen's financial instruments, under a variety of names, were "a hodgepodge" of self-contradictions and outdated provisions that would not fool any knowledgeable person, witness Walker Todd testified Monday.The liens that Freeman leader LeRoy Schweitzer claimed gave value to his checks were worthless, said Todd, a specialist in "non-check instruments" for the Federal Reserve banks in New York and Cleveland.

"In my opinion, anyone who would teach that these instruments are valid didn't know what he was teaching," he said.

U.S. District Judge John Coughenour has already warned defense lawyers against trying to say the documents had value. Should they do so, he said Monday, "I'm going to tell the jury these things are worthless junk."

Twelve of the Freemen are on trial in a 40-count indictment with charges ranging from bank and wire fraud to threatening the life of a federal judge.