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Press Release

Former Investment Advisor Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison for Stealing More Than $600K from Clients

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that AARON J. JOHNSON, 37, of Haddam, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer in New Haven to 60 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for defrauding clients of his investment business.

According to court documents and statements made in court, JOHNSON was President and Chief Investment Officer of J. Capital Advisors, and was a registered investment advisor until October 21, 2013, when his and J. Capital Advisors’ registration was revoked by the State of Connecticut

In approximately April 2010, JOHNSON became a registered investment advisor with Trade PMR, a Florida company that provides brokerage and custody services for registered investment advisors. Almost immediately, JOHNSON began skimming excessive and unearned fees from client accounts. JOHNSON would submit a request to Trade PMR for fees for a particular client supposedly earned during a particular time period, and Trade PMR would, in turn, arrange for those fees to be deducted from the client’s account and deposited into a J. Capital Advisors’ sundry account over which JOHNSON maintained exclusive control. By December 2012, when Trade PMR terminated its relationship with JOHNSON, JOHNSON had taken a total of $619,231.09 in excessive fees from 19 victim clients.

JOHNSON also attempted to obstruct, delay and prevent the discovery of the full scope of his scheme by falsely claiming to one of his victims and to investigators with the State of Connecticut Department of Banking that fees taken from that victim’s account were due to a “glitch” in his billing system. JOHNSON submitted falsified documentation to Trade PMR including bogus account statements for clients, and letters of authorization that JOHNSON forged purporting to allow him to take fees from client accounts. JOHNSON also submitted a falsified account statement to Department of Banking investigators in an attempt to show that he had funds with which to pay restitution.

Judge Meyer ordered JOHNSON to pay full restitution to his victims.

JOHNSON was arrested on February 17, 2016. On February 23, 2017, he pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud.

JOHNSON, who is released on a $250,000 bond, was ordered to report to prison on October 2, 2017.

This matter was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the State of Connecticut Department of Banking, Securities and Business Investments Division. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan L. Wines.

Updated August 25, 2017

Financial Fraud
Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud