ALEXANDRIA, Va. — An Ohio man who says he is the keeper of the seal of St. Peter and immune from U.S. law has been ordered held without bond on charges that he issued hundreds of fraudulent diplomatic credentials to people who paid to be part of his movement.

Sixty-year-old James T. McBride was denied bond Wednesday at a hearing in federal court in Alexandria. Prosecutors say McBride represents himself as the leader of “Divine Province” and promises people they can avoid taxes and debts if they pay to enroll in his society.

Prosecutors say he issued 900 fraudulent diplomatic credentials he sold to people at hotel seminars and through his website.

At Wednesday’s hearing, McBride said his authority derives from divine law and that he is not a U.S. citizen.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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