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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Louisiana

Monday, March 24, 2014

Con Man Convicted Of Wire Fraud Using Fake $20,000,000 Trust Account

BATON ROUGE, LA - United States Attorney Walt Green announced that last Friday, JOHNATHAN E. WILLIAMS, age 34, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, pled guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson to wire fraud in connection with a multiyear fraud scheme. WILLIAMS faces up to twenty (20) years in prison, three (3) years of supervised release following imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, and forfeiture of the proceeds of the fraud.

At Friday’s hearing, WILLIAMS admitted that from 2008 through 2011, he defrauded numerous victims to obtain money that he could use to fund his gambling activity and other personal expenses. To accomplish his scheme, WILLIAMS would solicit and obtain money from victims by falsely representing that he had a substantial trust fund, containing millions of dollars, to which he would gain full control upon reaching a certain age. WILLIAMS would also falsely represent that he worked for a flooring company and that he needed money on a short-term basis in order to place orders for supplies. One of the victims was a man named J.O., in Florida, who began sending money to WILLIAMS and one of his associates in February of 2009. In June of 2009, in response to the victim’s concerns about repayment, WILLIAMS knowingly faxed the victim a false and fictitious letter, on an attorney’s letterhead, falsely representing that WILLIAMS had a trust fund containing “in excess of $20 million.” The letter induced the victim to continue sending money to accounts that WILLIAMS, ultimately losing approximately $300,000 in the scheme. In total, as he admitted today in Court, WILLIAMS defrauded his victims out of more than $500,000.

U.S. Attorney Green stated: “This office, together with the FBI and our other federal, state, and local partners, will continue to aggressively pursue those who engage in significant and sophisticated fraud schemes by preying on the good will of others. In addition to the direct impact on its victims, such frauds dissuade some who might otherwise lend a helping hand to someone truly deserving.”

The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Alan A. Stevens, who serves as a Deputy Criminal Chief of the Criminal Division.

Updated December 15, 2014