Winston Shrout, a self-styled financial guru and one of the recent presenters on a conspiracy theory cruise attended by Jezebel, has been indicted for the second time in three months. The superseding indictment accuses him of making fictitious financial documents and trying to pass them off as legal tender. You can’t do that.


Shrout runs a business called Solutions in Commerce, whose reality is considerably more exciting than its name would suggest. He is described by the Anti-Defamation League as a “sovereign citizen guru,” that is, one of the leading experts in the pseudo-legal field of telling people they can become exempt from state and/or federal law.

The ADL is sort of correct; Shrout, it must be said, exists in a different plane than many sovereign citizens, literally. Onboard the Conspira Sea cruise, he told audience members he sits on a “galactic roundtable” with St. Germain, and works with fairies and elves to influence the world’s financial markets. Here is an example of his advice on reclaiming your body from the U.S. government, which he believes keeps us all literally enslaved:

In December, Shrout was indicted in federal court in Oregon, where he lives, on charges of failing to file tax returns. On Wednesday, a federal grand jury returned a new indictment that accuses him of trying to defraud U.S. financial institutions by making fake documents, including things called “International Bills of Exchange” and “Non-Negotiable Bills of Exchange,” neither of which are real things. Oregon Live has the full indictment, which shows that Shrout claimed his homemade financial instruments were worth amounts ranging from $100 million to $25 billion, because why go small with something like this?

Shrout is accused of making more than 300 fake financial documents on behalf of himself and other people between 2008 and 2015, prosectors said.

This is a good time to note that Shrout also said on the cruise that he is affiliated with the Office of International Treasury Control, a real-sounding organization that sometimes claims to be “chartered with” the United Nations or the U.S. Treasury. It isn’t. It is, again, not a real financial institution at all and cannot give you legal advice, financial help, or re-finance your debt.


If convicted, Shrout faces up to 25 years in prison on each of the 13 counts of making fake financial documents, and one year for each count of the six counts of failure to file income tax returns.

If you were on the Conspira Sea Cruise and were thinking of taking tax or financial advice from this man, please tread carefully. Please.


Winston Shrout. Screengrab via YouTube/Winston Shrout