Chesterton Tribune



Realtor Donald Johnson pleads not guilty to charges

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Former Dunland real estate agent Donald Johnson, of Porter, during his initial hearing Monday entered pleas of not guilty to the 14 felony charges he is facing on allegations that he sold securities which were not registered and committed securities fraud.

Johnson plead not guilty to six counts of securities registration violation, six counts of broker-dealer registration violation and two counts of securities fraud.

Each count is a Class C felony punishable by a term of two to eight years.

Johnson was taken into custody by Chesterton Police on March 16 following an investigation by CPD and the Indiana Secretary of State’s Securities Division. His license was revoked by the state in 2012.

According to the probable cause affidavit by an investigator with the Secretary of State’s Securities Division, a complaint was filed against Johnson alleging that Johnson solicited moneys from persons “by guaranteeing a certain high interest return on their money” often in a real estate venture in Tennessee. On some occasions, investors did receive payments for a period of time but interest would stop and Johnson told them it was unavailable when they requested their investment back, the affidavit said.

Investigators said there were six purported victims that lost tens of thousands of dollars that Johnson allegedly withdrew from his business, Private Lending LLC, to pay personal bills, and indicated there may be more victims.

Porter County Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford scheduled Johnson’s omnibus status hearing for July 14 at 9 a.m. and a pre-trial hearing for Aug. 18 at 9 a.m.


Posted 4/29/2014




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