Friday, March 25, 2011

Prince George’s County Councilwoman Leslie Johnson Charged with Conspiracy to Commit Witness and Evidence Tampering

Criminal Information Supersedes Criminal Complaint

GREENBELT, MD—A criminal information was filed today charging Prince George’s County Councilwoman Leslie Johnson, age 59, of Mitchellville, Maryland, with conspiracy to commit witness and evidence tampering. The criminal supersedes a criminal complaint previously filed against Mrs. Johnson. The preliminary hearing scheduled on the criminal complaint has been canceled. No court proceeding is currently scheduled.

The charge was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein, Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Special Agent in Charge Rebecca Sparkman of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office.

According to the criminal information, on November 12, 2010, after receiving instructions from a co-conspirator, Leslie Johnson refused to open the door to FBI and IRS-CI agents who were attempting to execute a federal search warrant authorizing the search of Johnson’s home. Further, the criminal information alleges that Leslie Johnson destroyed a $100,000 check from a developer that had been given to her co-conspirator in return for the co-conspirator’s help in securing funds for the developer’s projects. Finally, the criminal information alleges that Leslie Johnson hid $79,600 in cash that was hidden in her home, in order to impair the evidence’s integrity and availability for use in the course of an ongoing federal grand jury investigation and any subsequent federal criminal proceedings involving Leslie Johnson and her co-conspirator.

The information seeks forfeiture of the proceeds of the scheme, including $79,600 in cash.

Leslie Johnson faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the conspiracy.

A criminal information is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by criminal information is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI and IRS-CI for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys James A. Crowell IV, A. David Copperthite and Sujit Raman, who are prosecuting the case.

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