Robert “Jeff” Johnson, 46, was recently sentenced to 15 months
in prison for fraud, along with being ordered by a federal judge to pay
$1.6 million to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and a bank he defrauded.
Johnson was indicted on 12 counts in 2010 that included theft, larceny,
obstruction of correspondence, falsification of records, and criminal
contempt. As part of a plea deal, these charges were dropped. Last September,
Johnson pleaded guilty to willful failure to pay employee taxes, bank
fraud, and bankruptcy fraud.
Johnson was a former chief of a Columbus, OH construction company that
is now defunct. A lengthy investigation by the IRS led to his indictment.
As president of Smith & Johnson Construction Co., he borrowed $20
million for the company, but instead of using it for business purposes
he used it to support a posh lifestyle including a Miami Beach, Fla.,
condo and expensive vehicles.
The loan had enough collateral to cover it according to Johnson’s attorney,
meaning the bank lost very little from the transaction. Johnson had been
president for 3 years when the company folded in 2006 after being in operation
for 20 years. The company had up 500 employees.
Johnson filed false documents and hid assets when he filed for bankruptcy.
He withdrew over $1 million in taxes that he failed to pay to the IRS
that was from employee wages. When the construction company folded and
a warrant was issued for his arrest, he hid from U.S. Marshals. He was
apprehended later at his Florida home.
Some may recognize Johnson from the WE TV network show,
Platinum Weddings, which highlights lavish expensive wedding celebrations. His wedding was
featured in 2010 on a waterfront estate with a $600,000 price tag. Supposedly,
his bride wore jewelry with an estimated worth of $400,000.