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Justice News

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

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Con Man Sentenced To Over Five Years In Prison For Fraud Scheme

BATON ROUGE, LA –United States Attorney Walt Green announced that Chief U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson sentenced JOHNATHAN E. WILLIAMS, age 34, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to serve sixty three (63) months in federal prison as a result of a multi-year fraud scheme. The defendant was also ordered to pay $835,650 in restitution and forfeit an additional $500,000 as illegal proceeds of his scheme. Upon his release from federal prison, WILLIAMS will be required to serve 2 years of supervised release.

WILLIAMS had previously pled guilty to a wire fraud scheme in which, from 2008 through 2011, he defrauded dozens of victims to obtain money that he could use to fund his gambling activity and other personal expenses. To accomplish his scheme, among a variety of other false stories, WILLIAMS would tell his victims that he had a trust fund containing millions of dollars, and that he would be able to repay his victims as soon as he gained access to the trust fund. WILLIAMS falsely told some victims that he was an heir to the family that produces Tabasco hot sauce. As part of the scheme, WILLIAMS used a false and fictitious letter, on an attorney’s letterhead, falsely representing that WILLIAMS had a trust fund worth “in excess of $20 million.” Throughout his scheme, WILLIAMS defrauded more than thirty (30) victims and obtained more than $800,000. At the conclusion of today’s sentencing, because the Court found that WILLIAMS had continued to engage in criminal conduct even after his March 2014 guilty plea, the Court revoked WILLIAMS’s release and ordered him immediately remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal.

U.S. Attorney Green stated: “We hope today’s sentence sends a strong message to those who would engage in fraud to line their pockets. This defendant’s long-running scheme caused his victims tremendous hardship, both financial and emotional, threatening the financial security and retirement plans of many along the way. My office will work hard to aggressively pursue con artists like Mr. Williams.”

This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections’ Division of Probation and Parole. 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