A jury has been seated in a Pee Dee sheriff’s upcoming federal trial on fraud charges.
Suspended Wiliamsburg County Sheriff Michael Johnson’s trial will begin Monday, according to The State newspaper. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Governor Nikki Haley suspended Johnson from office in February after he was indicted with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Prosecutors say Johnson filed false identity theft reports on behalf of a credit repair business trying to improve its customers’ credit scores. Prosecutors say Johnson created 130 false police reports so those customers of FIG Investments, LLC could claim their overdue bills were caused by people who stole their identity. FIG owner Lester Woods of Columbia was indicted on the same charges.
The indictment did not say how or if Johnson profited from the alleged scheme. Johnson’s attorney has not commented on the case except to say her client “has been looking forward to his day in court for a long time.”
Johnson had served as sheriff of the rural county since 2010. He had been with the Williamsburg County Sheriff’s Department for 15 years prior to his indictment.