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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


SEPTEMBER 4, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


JURY CONVICTS FORMER SPRINGFIELD POLICE OFFICER

FOR FRAUD SCHEME


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former Springfield, Mo., police officer was convicted by a federal jury today for using his ex-wife’s identity in a scheme to defraud a credit card company and an online payment service.


             Charles Edward Johnson, 45, of Springfield, was found guilty of mail fraud and credit card fraud. Johnson was an officer with the Springfield Police Department. 


             From November 2003 to Aug. 31, 2005, Johnson executed a scheme to defraud by using the personal information of his ex-wife to open three separate credit accounts with Capital One and an account with PayPal. Johnson used all four fraudulent accounts to obtain goods and services through online purchases shipped to his home in Springfield as well as advances obtained at various locations. Capital One sent bills in the name of Johnson’s ex-wife to Johnson’s home address in Springfield, and to keep the accounts open, Johnson made minimum payments on all three credit card accounts using money orders. Johnson obtained several thousand dollars in goods and services using the fraudulent credit cards and PayPal account, which he did not repay.


             Johnson was found guilty on three counts of mail fraud. Those charges related to billing statements for the three Capital One accounts, which he caused to be mailed by Capital One during the fraud scheme. Johnson was also found guilty of credit card fraud related to the three credit card account numbers from Capital One and an account number from PayPal, all of which were used to obtain money and property.


            Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Springfield deliberated about an hour before returning the guilty verdict to U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr, ending a trial that began Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2008.


            Under federal statutes, Johnson is subject to a sentence of up to 70 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $1 million and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a pre-sentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Mohlhenrich. It was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html