A man who claimed he is the keeper of the seal of St. Peter has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison for selling nearly 2,000 fake diplomatic credentials affiliated with his movement.
James McBride, 60, led an organization he called "Divine Province." At hotel seminars, he sold diplomatic credentials that he said would bestow immunity from U.S. taxes and laws on members of Divine Province.
Prosecutors say McBride pulled in nearly half a million dollars through the scheme. McBride served as his own attorney at trial. He claimed that his status as the keeper of St. Peter's seal authorized him to operate outside U.S. law.
McBride, of Ohio, was expected to receive anywhere from one to three years in prison at Friday's sentencing in federal court in Alexandria. The judge handed down a sentence longer than what prosecutors had sought.