Orange Co. couple facing fraud charges gets attention of Homeland Security


ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - An Orange County couple facing fraud charges got the attention of Homeland Security.

According to reports, the couple claims to be part of a religious group called Sovereign Citizens.

It took investigators seven months to piece together the investigation against Dexter Martin and his wife, Lelawatie Sookhoo.

The investigation started when Martin got in a car accident and a Florida Highway Patrol trooper found Martin was going by the name Mushon Martin-Bey, and claimed to be part of the Moorish Religious Society.

The group’s parishioners often claim sovereign citizenship, and change their names without filing legal documents, as investigators discovered in this case.

They said Martin-Bey visited a car dealership on Orange Blossom Trail and got a fraudulent title for a car using his new name.

They also found Sookhoo used a modified version of her name to get eight different IDs from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Reports said the couple racked up liens on three homes under their fake names, totaling nearly $25,000.

Leaders with the Moorish Science Temple of America said in a statement that radical fringe groups are giving their religion a bad name with these types of crimes.  

A spokesperson said the group “is in no form or fashion a Sovereign Citizen Movement” and “all members must obey the laws of the government.”

One of the homes the couple owned is being foreclosed on.

WFTV contacted Homeland Security after investigators mentioned their assistance in the arrest reports for the couple, but officials have not commented.