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Judge blasts millionaire Calgary heiress for using fake law in attempt to get condo for free


‘Her activities are not those of some misinformed and confused person…. Ms. Anderson is an unrepentant, disruptive, greedy, uncooperative, abusive scofflaw’

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Sandra Ann Anderson is not exactly poor. The Calgary native recently came into a “multi-million-dollar” inheritance from her father.

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But she still refused to repay the $160,000 owing on her condo mortgage, insisting Canadian laws did not apply to her.

Anderson earlier evoked similar “pseudo-law” concepts to counter fines for smuggling high-priced horses across the border from the U.S.

But this week an Alberta judge lowered the boom, calling the heiress a greedy, abusive “litigation terrorist,” handing the condominium over to the Royal Bank in a foreclosure case and severely restricting her access to the Court of Queen’s Bench.

Anderson, meanwhile, told the judge she’s moved to California, despite being wanted on several criminal charges in Canada.

“Ms. Anderson is … not a destitute, desperate person,” noted Associate Chief Justice John Rooke in his scathing, 16-page judgment. “Her activities are not those of some misinformed and confused person, stumbling through a complex, inscrutable apparatus…. Ms. Anderson is an unrepentant, disruptive, greedy, uncooperative, abusive scofflaw.”

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It’s the latest chapter in the court system’s running battle against litigants who cite bizarre, made-up legal principles to try to elude justice.

Past cases have involved a relatively broad range of individuals, said Richard Warman, an Ottawa lawyer and online-extremism expert who tracks the “not-law” phenomenon. But this case seems exceptional, he said, because the culprit is among society’s most affluent.

“What you have is a member of the one per cent gone berserk,” Warman said Thursday. “You have people who are exceptionally wealthy and privileged … who don’t just have it all, they want the rest.”

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Anderson, though, appeared unswayed by the legal smack-down, telling the National Post in a brief email exchange that she and others like her are victims of injustice as they try “to hold corrupt government agents accountable.”

She referred to the judge by a pejorative nickname and accused him of perpetrating “commercial fraud and swindles” against litigants who use tactics like hers.

The term pseudo law or “Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Arguments (OPCA)” refers to various sets of ideas and rules that are stated in legal jargon and purport to override real statutes and jurisprudence, but have no basis in actual law. They’re often used to try to avoid legal obligations like paying taxes, obeying court orders or answering criminal charges.

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The phenomenon includes the “sovereign citizen” and “freeman of the land” movements, the “strawman theory” and a group that claims a section of the Magna Carta that’s been defunct for 1,000 years renders all laws in Commonwealth countries invalid.

What you have is a member of the one per cent gone berserk

A sovereign-law follower killed a tax-court judge and two other people in Ottawa in 2007.

Although Rooke did not identify Anderson’s wealthy father, a Sandra Anderson is one of the children of the late J.C. Anderson, a giant in the Alberta oil industry who sold his exploration company in 2001 for $5.3 billion before dying in 2015. His daughter Sandra was an accomplished show jumper, winning a silver medal for Canada at the 1991 Pan-Am Games.

Before the case was decided this week, the litigant Sandra Anderson was caught repeatedly trying to smuggle horses into Canada without paying the appropriate duties or taxes. She had purchased one for about $120,000, but initially told a border officer her only U.S. purchase was “six beers.” After paying fines to Canada Border Services Agency to retrieve animals the agency had seized, she sued various government entities.

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In the pseudo-law documents she filed, Anderson said she would essentially take over court infrastructure and act as prosecutor and judge of the federal “trespassers,” Rooke noted. The action was struck down and the woman ordered to pay the government’s costs.

The judge documented how she follows closely the example of a sovereign-law guru in the U.S., Carl Lentz. Among other tactics, she employs the “strawman” theory, claiming she is not really Sandra Ann Anderson — who holds the condo mortgage — but other personas, such as WOMAN SANDRA OF THE ANDERSON FAMILY and sandra-ann:woman.

She claimed her mortgage with RBC was not valid because it had no “wet-ink signature,” and filed a document saying Rooke and Alberta Finance Minister Tyler Shandro were personally responsible for her debts. Anderson also claimed a British bank had paid off the mortgage with a voucher signed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the ruling said.

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Her disruptive, abusive behaviour during hearings has had her thrown out of court and muted on teleconference calls repeatedly. Meanwhile, it appears she has “absconded Canada” to avoid arrest on her criminal charges, which range from impaired driving and fraud to carrying fireworks on a plane and forging COVID test results, Rooke said.

The judge said it would be a “farce” to let the foreclosure proceedings drag on any longer amid Anderson’s disruptive, threatening behaviour and ordered the condo turned over to the bank immediately.

The Alberta court, and Rooke specifically, have been a standout in dealing with the persistent, international fake-law problem, said Warman.

“They are, to the best of my knowledge, the leading court of the world in dealing with the issue in a really organized and deliberate manner.”

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