April 26, 2013
Jury finds Shela Amos guilty in vacant home sale scheme
Conviction stems from illegitimate sale of Indianapolis homes by sovereign citizen
(Indianapolis, Ind.) A jury convicted Shela Amos on Wednesday in a scheme in whichAmos led victims to believe that they were legitimately purchasing vacant homes that Amosdid not own or have the legal authority to sell. In total, victims paid Amos and Cannedymore than $24,000 for six homes, only to learn that they lost not just their financialinvestment but the emotional investment they made in what they believed were theirhomes. Many of the victims were of Hispanic descent, while others were connected byfamily or friends to Amos.Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry stated that a total of 37 victims of this scheme wereidentified through the investigation of Amos and her Foundation, six of whom were thebasis of charges presented at trial this week. “Shela Amos was a scam artist who preyedupon naïve members of our community, cloaking her activities under the phony authority of being an alleged sovereign citizen,” Prosecutor Curry stated. “There is no doubt that sheand her colleagues would still be victimizing vulnerable individuals but for this prosecution.” The jury convicted Amos on all counts as charged: two counts of Corrupt BusinessInfluence (Class C Felony), two counts of Burglary (Class C Felony), six counts of Forgery(Class C Felony), and six counts of Theft (Class D Felony). Sentencing in the case isscheduled for May 9 at 1:30 p.m.Beverly Cannedy, also charged in the case, pleaded guilty to Corrupt Business Influence(Class C Felony), Forgery (Class C Felony) and Theft (Class D Felony) on April 22. Thesentencing hearing in Cannedy’s case is scheduled for June 7 at 9:00 a.m.Operating as the Tertius Malachi & James Youth Foundation (TM & J Youth Foundation),Amos and Cannedy presented the victims with a land contract and a receipt of payments.Amos and Cannedy also prepared and filed a “Declaration of Land Patent” with state andlocal government agencies. The “Land Patents” were represented to the victims as proof of ownership of the properties.