U.S. Attorney’s Office
April 05, 2012
Northern District of California
Santa Rosa Hells Angels Leader Sentenced to Prison in Mortgage Fraud Scheme
SAN FRANCISCO—Josh Leo Johnson was sentenced yesterday to 12 months in custody and ordered to pay $130,000 in restitution to SunTrust Mortgage for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.
The defendant, the current vice president of the Hells Angels Sonoma Chapter, pleaded guilty on December 13, 2011 to wire fraud. According to the plea agreement, Johnson admitted that from 2006 until 2007, he was involved in a conspiracy with others to fraudulently obtain mortgage loans. Specifically, in May 2007 he signed loan applications containing materially false statements for real property in Healdsburg, California. These false statements caused interstate wire transfers of loan funds from mortgage lenders directly to Johnson’s account. Some examples of the false statements contained in the loan applications included that Johnson was the owner of a fictitious company for several years and making a large and recurring salary. The documents supporting the loan applications also contained altered bank statements in Johnson’s name to reflect a series of inflated balances in his bank account. The loan applications Johnson submitted ultimately resulted in a loss to the lender of approximately $135,000, though the amount of loss in the overall conspiracy is at least several million dollars.
Johnson, 36, of Santa Rosa, California, was indicted by a federal grand jury on September 1, 2011. He was charged with conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud and with wire fraud. He pleaded guilty to wire fraud.
The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup. Judge Alsup also sentenced the defendant to a three-year period of supervised release with several special conditions, one of which was that half of his 12-month sentence must be served in federal prison, while the remaining portion may be served in the form of home detention.
Kathryn Haun is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Legal Tech Daniel Charlier-Smith. The prosecution is the result of a multi-year investigation by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Santa Rosa Resident Agency.