Man Who Sold Fake Diplomatic Papers Gets 3.5 years - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Man Who Sold Fake Diplomatic Papers Gets 3.5 years

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - An Ohio man who claimed to be the keeper of the seal of St. Peter has been sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison for selling nearly 2,000 fake diplomatic credentials affiliated with his movement.

Sixty-year-old James McBride led an organization he called "Divine Province." At hotel seminars, he sold diplomatic credentials he said would bestow immunity from U.S. taxes and laws on members of Divine Province.

Prosecutors say McBride pulled in nearly half a million dollars through the scheme. McBride served as his own attorney at trial. He claimed that his status as the keeper of St. Peter's seal authorized him to operate outside U.S. law.

At Friday's sentencing hearing in Alexandria, the judge handed down a sentence longer than what prosecutors had sought.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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