Closing arguments are scheduled today in a Temecula case that questions the ideology of “sovereign citizenship.”
The case involves Victor Cheng, 48, who was evicted from a foreclosed home on Saint Tisbury Street in Temecula, but months later he filed a false deed transferring the property back to himself. He then moved back in to the home while the alleged legal residents were out of the country, according to a news release from the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.
When the alleged legal residents came home, they found Cheng living there; all of their belongings were moved into the garage, according to the release.
Cheng allegedly adheres to sovereign citizenship. Believers of the ideology say they are answerable only to common law and not federal, state or municipal statutes implemented through legislative processes.
Cheng was arrested on suspicion of trespassing and was ordered to leave the home. After his arrest, the people who are the alleged legal homeowners filed a temporary restraining order against Cheng. However, he later served them with a three-day notice to vacate the property, the DA’s office alleges.
If convicted as now charged, Victor Cheng faces up to three years in state prison, according to the DA's office.