A jury found a Greenville resident guilty Wednesday of uttering counterfeit securities, the verdict coming two weeks after another jury found her guilty on three counts of wire fraud.
Robin Lee Johnson, 51, was found guilty of six counts of uttering counterfeit securities, according to a news release from the U.S. Justice Department, U.S. Attorney’s Office for South Carolina.
Senior U.S. District Judge Henry M. Herlong Jr., presided over both trials and will sentence Johnson after the U.S. Probation Office prepares a presentence report, the news release stated. Johnson faces a statutory maximum of 10 years on the securities case and 20 years on the wire fraud case.
Evidence presented to the jury during the first trial, July 11-12, showed that Johnson operated Global Staffing Solutions, a business that purported to provide temporary employees to local companies. Johnson sold Global’s accounts receivable, representing money due from providing the temporary employees, to Capital Business Funding, a local factoring company. Factoring is a financial transaction and a type of debtor finance in which a business (Global) sells its accounts receivable to a third party (Capital) at a discount, the release said. The invoice factoring company seeks to collect on the invoices it has purchased.
“It was a part of the scheme that Global did not actually provide temporary employees to multiple businesses; however, Johnson represented to Capital that Global’s accounts receivable were valid and legitimate,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in the release. “Capital received multiple fraudulent emails and other documents from Johnson indicating that the workers had been provided and that Global was due money from Capital based on the factoring arrangement. Before her scheme was uncovered, Johnson obtained $406,289.04 from Capital based on fraudulent documents submitted.”
Evidence presented during the second jury trial July 26 showed that Johnson obtained and deposited six counterfeit checks totaling $185,533.16. The checks purported to be from National Funding, a lending company based in San Diego, Calif., according to the release.
Johnson knew of National Funding because she was on its mailing list and received marketing materials with the company’s name, address and business purpose. The account number on the counterfeit checks belonged to a law firm in Ohio. Prosecutors alleged Johnson deposited four of the counterfeit checks in her Bank of America account and quickly dissipated the funds through large cash withdrawals and transfers to other accounts. Once the fraud was discovered, Bank of America stopped payment of the final two checks (totaling $75,000) and closed Johnson’s account because of fraud, according to the release.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Winston Marosek and Bill Watkins prosecuted both cases.s