James Leroy Johnson
FRESNO — An investigation began in June 2016 into a financial fraud case involving 69-year-old James Leroy Johnson.
In 2011 a couple from Friant came into contact with Johnson, who claimed to own First Light Trading LLC, an investment company.
The couple gave Johnson $61,000 from their retirement in the hopes of getting a better return of their investment in the supposed startup.
They then received a certificate saying that they owned 250,000 shares of stock in First Light Trading. In 2015, Johnson told them that they now owned 1.2 million shares in the company.
This good news led them to request a cash-out. The story Johnson told them was that he had sold the company for $10 million and that they could not receive their money until the sale was finalized.
The couple tried to contact Johnson numerous times, but it never led to any cash. The FSO also tried to contact him to no avail.
On March 21st, an arrest warrant was issued. Johnson, an ex-convict who served time for operating another Ponzi scheme, was arrested in Agoura Hills in Los Angeles county on March 30th.
The FCSO states, “Detectives believe there may be other victims, but they have not reported it to law enforcement. If you know of someone who may be a victim, please contact Detective Swain at (559) 600-8025. You may also contact Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-7867. You will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.”
They added, “The Friant couple to this day have not been able to recover any of their funds.”