Facebook Twitter

S. OGDEN MAN GUILTY OF FRAUD $180,000 SWINDLE BRINGS A CONVICTION ON 13 COUNTS

SHARE S. OGDEN MAN GUILTY OF FRAUD $180,000 SWINDLE BRINGS A CONVICTION ON 13 COUNTS

A South Ogden man was found guilty Thursday night on all 13 counts of fraud accusing him of swindling $180,000 from investors.

Robert G. Johnson, 52, was convicted of six counts of securities fraud, six counts of selling of unregistered securities and one count of employing an unregistered securities agent. The five-man, three-woman jury took about three hours to render its verdict.The defendant showed no emotion when the verdict was read. Defense attorney Joe Bottum said he planned to appeal. Second District Judge Ronald O. Hyde set a sentencing date for May 4. Johnson could be sentenced to serve up to 39 years in prison.

Johnson and his business partner, Blake Adams, 36, Mesa, Ariz., were arrested about a year ago on charges they stole $180,000 from six investors in 1984.

Both men operated the Johnson-Adams Corp., collecting money from investors with promises of a 200 percent return within two months. Investors said they never saw their money again.

Adams entered guilty pleas to three fraud charges last August following plea-bargain negotiations. He was sentenced to 30 days in the Weber County Jail and ordered to pay back full restitution within three years.

Adams testified for the state during Johnson's trial. Johnson did not take the stand on his own behalf.

During closing arguments, Assistant Attorney General Mark Griffin told jury members that the evidence had told them a story of deceit.

Griffin said that Johnson was the head of the company, that he directed the investment plan and that he instructed his employees to go out and find investors, promising them a "no-risk deal" and double their money back.

"They promised investors they would get a return on their money," the prosecutor said. "This was a lie, a lie to extract money from innocent people."

The defense attorney tried to convince the jury that Adams, not Johnson, directed the investment scheme.

Bottum said there was no evidence that showed Johnson committed securities fraud, sold unregistered securities or hired an unregistered securities agent.

Bottum said that Adams had a motive to testify for the state, so that Johnson would be convicted and also be under order to pay restitution. The defense attorney said that with Johnson convicted, Adams' payments would ease.