’s name on an insurance check and then
stealing the check.
Johnson was booked into the Porter County Jail on charges of forgery, a
Class C felony punishable by a term of two to eight years; and theft, a
Class D felony punishable by a term of six months to three years.
Johnson was charged
earlier this year with six counts of securities registration violation; six
of broker-dealer registration violation; and two counts of securities fraud.
Each of those previous 14 counts is a Class C felony.
According to the
probable cause affidavit filed by Det. Mike Veal of the Porter Police
Department, in March 2012 Thomas Lipinski filed a report in which he accused
Johnson of signing Lipinski’s name, and that of his late wife, to an
insurance check issued after Johnson made a claim for roof damage on a house
owned by Lipinski and being purchased by Johnson.
that he only learned of the $8,443.74 check in the first place because the
Indiana Attorney General’s Office found it among a package of documents
subpoenaed during its securities fraud investigation, Veal stated in his
That check had been
made payable to the four parties with a financial interest in the house,
Veal stated: Lipinski, his wife, Johnson, and Johnson’s wife. But Johnson
had deposited the whole of it into his own Fifth/Third Bank account in
August 2011, Veal stated.
that he was not aware of the existence of the check and that the endorsement
signature purporting to be his was fraudulent,” Veal stated. “Further, the
signature purporting to be his wife’s was absolutely a forgery because she
had passed away three months earlier. Lipinski further stated that it was
his belief that the cost of the roof repair was approximately $2,000.”
Meanwhile, one of
Johnson’s former employees advised Veal that, although she had not seen
Johnson forge signatures on the Lipinski check, “she had seen him digitally
‘cut and paste’ signatures from existing documents on the computer and place
them on checks without the person’s approval or knowledge.”
In March Lipinski
told Veal one last thing: that Johnson had recently contacted him and, in a
meeting with Lipinski at Thomas Library, called the forged insurance check
“a mistake on his part” and offered Lipinski $5,000 to “make it go away,”
In a second
meeting, Lipinski this time tape-recorded his conversation with Johnson, who
said that he didn’t currently have $5,000 in his account but would have it
in two weeks, Veal stated.
Johnson was booked
into the Porter County Jail on Thursday, then released on his previous bond.
Johnson has pleaded
not guilty to the earlier 14 counts filed against him.