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Erica Elliott, sovereign citizen who filed bogus lien on mansion, arrested after failing to show up for trial

Erica Elliott is charged with filing a nonsense lien on the Villa Collina, preventing the sale of the 40,000 square foot mansion.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Erica Elliott, 36, who is charged with filing a fake lien on a 40,000 square foot mansion in Knoxville in June, was due in court on Wednesday. She did not show up.

The trial was scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday morning, but she was not there more than an hour later. Judge Kyle Hixson issued a capias after waiting for her, essentially commanding Elliott to be arrested and brought to court. He also revoked her bail.

Law enforcement officers found her shortly afterward near the federal building across the street after the witnesses and jury had already left. She was taken to the Knox County jail where officials say she will be held until a new trial date is set.

On Thursday morning, the judge reset the trial date to May 9, 2022, and raised her bond to $250,000.

In a complaint earlier filed to federal court, Elliott cited her "official capacity as a Private Attorney General and as a Constitutional Bounty Hunter," to request $6 million in damages per day she was incarcerated.

The Southern Poverty Law Center said sovereign citizens believe they get to choose which laws they do and do not follow.

Her fake lien held up the sale of the Villa Collina for months. An indictment said that she had no reason to file the lien and on Thursday, the sale went through.

Liens are a type of claim against assets that are typically used to satisfy a debt. They are typically used by creditors to claim property that debtors used as collateral for their debts. Elliott's fake lien was $19 million, according to officials.

The new owners of the mansion said they plan to demolish it and auction everything inside. They also plan to subdivide the property into three lots, according to officials with the buyers.