FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, July 28, 2014
Ex-Securities Agent Extradited from Texas to Face Iowa Charges
Attorney generalís office charges David W. Johnson with felony theft, ongoing criminal conduct
(DES MOINES, Iowa) The Iowa attorney general’s office has charged a former Iowa securities agent now living in Texas with the theft of investment money from four Iowa residents.
The Area Prosecutions Division charged David William Johnson, 55, of Keller, Texas, with four counts of first-degree-theft and one count of ongoing criminal conduct.
According to complaints and affidavits filed in Humboldt County District Court, Johnson allegedly misappropriated investment funds belonging to residents in Algona, Pocahontas, Coon Rapids and Fort Dodge. Each loss allegedly exceeds $10,000. Johnson also engaged in theft for financial gain on a continuing basis, according to the charging documents.
The Iowa Insurance Division referred the case to state prosecutors after investigating complaints that Johnson converted investor funds for his own use.
Iowa Insurance Division: Johnson Solicited & Collected Funds for Purported Foreign Transactions
A March 1, 2013 Iowa Insurance Division (IID) cease and desist order alleged that Johnson had contacted an Iowa resident with whom he had previously done business when Johnson worked on behalf of a financial services firm in Humboldt.
The order further alleged that the resident wired $2,420 to an international transaction company after Johnson told her “she should purchase Iraqi currency because the United States markets were failing.”
The resident then wired more than $50,000 to the “Elijah Spendthrift Trust” in Keller, Texas, after Johnson told the resident that he would invest her money in a foreign bank. According to IID, Johnson controlled the trust.
The IID classified both investments as unregistered securities investments, and the agency reported that it had “reason to believe that Johnson has converted (the resident’s investment) money for his own personal use.”
2012 Financial Seminar in Humboldt Motel
The order also alleged that, on January 31, 2012, Johnson conducted a foreign investment financial seminar at the Super 8 Motel in Humboldt. According to IID, at least one resident invested $20,000, but successfully stopped payment on the investment.
IID records indicate that, at the time of the Humboldt seminar investment solicitations and receipt of investment funds, Johnson was not a licensed securities agent or investment adviser in Iowa. He was registered in Iowa from April 6, 1984 through January 9, 2012.
Johnson Arrested in Texas, Extradited to Iowa
Following an arrest warrant issued July 3 by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office in Fort Worth, Texas took Johnson into custody. The Iowa attorney general’s office extradited Johnson to Iowa to face charges. Johnson arrived at the Humboldt County Jail on Sunday. Johnson is being held on a $500,000 cash-only bond.
First-degree theft is a Class-C felony, punishable by up to ten years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. Ongoing criminal conduct is a Class-B felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
Investigators Urge Owners of Suspect Investments through Johnson to Contact Attorney General’s Office
The attorney general’s office continues to investigate the case with assistance from the Iowa Insurance Division. Investigators urge residents with concerns about suspect investments arranged through Johnson to contact Area Prosecutions Division investigator James Strohman by phone at 515-281-6700 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.