Sterling, Colorado businessman arrested for securities fraud and theft
DENVER — Eddie Johnson, 63, of Sterling, Colorado was arrested last following the issuance of an indictment that cites seven counts of securities fraud and four counts of theft $20,000 to $100,000. The indictment, filed by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, further states that Johnson is accused of stealing investments worth $192,000 from clients he personally solicited.
A recent investigation conducted by the Colorado Division of Securities, part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), allegedly found that starting in August of 2013 Johnson solicited funds from at least five people for the purchase of stock in Overland Trailer Mfg., LLC and Overland Corporation, LLC. Investors were told that the companies, both owned by Johnson, were under contract from large outdoor sporting goods retailers for the production, marketing, and distribution of trailers. In exchange for their investment, Johnson promised high returns with little or no risk.
It is further alleged that after investors had turned over a total of $162,000, plus a car valued at $30,000, Johnson, who did not have contracts with the afore-stated businesses, devoted the funds to personal expenses and business expenses that were unrelated to the contracted orders, and had not been laid out in disclosure documents for the investors. Investigators alleged that 23 percent of investor funds went toward Johnson’s own personal expenses, and the remaining 67 percent were used for business expenses such as payroll.
The charges include that Johnson also failed to disclose to his investors that he and his businesses were currently facing both civil and criminal charges, and that he had previously had six criminal convictions, including forgery and theft. Accompanying these civil and criminal cases were many thousands of dollars in unpaid restitution and unsatisfied judgments.
“These kinds of cases serve as a reminder to investors to always you do your homework before investing,” stated Colorado Securities Commissioner Gerald Rome. “It’s so important that investors take that extra step and research an investment deal before you hand over any money.”
Please note: The filing of a criminal charge is merely a formal accusation that an individual committed a crime under Colorado laws. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.