Sovereign Citizen Tried to Scam Freedom Arms Company Founder
The Wyoming Supreme Court has prohibited a retired dentist and self-identified sovereign citizen in Freedom from the unauthorized practice of law after he deceived the late co-founder of a well-known Wyoming gun maker to revise a trust agreement.
The court handed down the order on Wednesday to Clyde Wallace Stock after an investigation revealed he changed the agreements for Richard Casull, who was dying of cancer, and his wife Geraldine Casull, who was incapacitated with dementia.
Gunsmith Richard Casull co-founded Freedom Arms in 1978, held 17 firearm patents and developed the powerful .454 Casull cartridge. He died at age 87 on May 6, 2018, and Geraldine died at age 87 on Feb. 19, 2019, according to the document supporting the order.
Stock has a history of sovereign citizen activity including refusing to pay taxes. The FBI describes the sovereign citizens as "anti-government extremists who believe that even though they physically reside in this country, they are separate or “sovereign” from the United States. As a result, they believe they don’t have to answer to any government authority, including courts, taxing entities, motor vehicle departments, or law enforcement."
In the case of Stock, he apparently didn't believe he needed to have a law license to revise the Casulls' trust agreement.
In February 2018, the Casulls' longtime attorney Kevin Voyles notified the Wyoming State Bar that Stock, a long-time friend of the Casulls, set up a trust agreement with unusual provisions. They included vesting ownership of the couple’s real and personal property in him and Martin Occhi who served as trustees. Stock also prepared powers of attorney for the couple and a quitclaim deed conveying the couple’s real property to the trust.
Meanwhile, Jackson attorney Andrew Irvine sent a formal report to the state bar on behalf of a nephew of the Casulls.
The report said Stock and Occhi provided legal advice and drafted legal documents for the Casulls. "It appears that Mssrs. Stock and Occhi preyed on this sick and elderly couple in order to undo their long-standing trust agreement and take their property and assets for their own."
The state bar sent a letter to Stock and asked him to respond.
Stock responded, writing, "I have never intended to practice law.... If what I did appeared to be the practice of law, I apologize."
Stock later sent a letter to the state bar "to which he attached a list of cases pulled from the Internet which he said shows he does not need a license to practice law in any event," according to the court document.
On March 29, 2019, the state bar responded that Stock did engage in four incidents of the unauthorized practice of law, and proposed a consent agreement to stop including making restitution and paying a fine for each of the incidents.
Stock didn't respond.
Instead, he sent an "Express Notice of 'Waiver of Tort'" -- a sovereign citizen-style document -- that offered to settle the issue with the state bar paying him $620,000.
A month later, Stock sent the bar a notice of default when it didn't pay.
In May, the state bar filed a petition to stop Stock, who responded in sovereign citizen language that he has not been a resident of any county in Wyoming or elsewhere. "The BAR and their rules and power over the Respondent does not exist. Respondent has no evidence of this court's jurisdiction and believes none exists."
The bar set a hearing for Sept. 20 in Green River, and Stock responded that he was sick and couldn't attend, adding that he didn't need to be licensed to practice law.
The state bar responded that he submitted to having a license in a profession because he has a dental license from the Wyoming Board of Dental Examiners. Stock responded he since had asked that his dental license be cancelled.
The hearing was re-scheduled for Dec. 3.
Stock didn't show up.
However, Voyles testified that he tried to persuade Stock to rescind his actions, with Stock responding that he was only trying to help the Casulls.
Voyles didn't buy into what he called Stock's "feigned innocence," according to the Wyoming Supreme Court records: "Voyles suspected that this was part of a larger scheme by Stock and a few cohorts to obtain control of Casulls' estate, including a large gun collection as well as Mr. Casull's drawings and other proprietary materials related to his numerous arms-related inventions."
The Wyoming Supreme Court gave a June 1 deadline to Stock to pay $4,464 to the nephew, to pay a fine of $4,000 -- $1,000 each for the four incidents of the unauthorized practice of law -- and to reimburse the Wyoming State Bar $5,877.67 for the costs of the hearing.
Stock has no current or past listed phone numbers, so he could not be contacted for a comment.