LOS ANGELES (CNS) — A convicted con man from Sherman Oaks who served more than eight years in prison for stealing $8.7 million from one victim was sentenced to another six months for violating the terms of his probation, prosecutors announced Wednesday, Feb. 1.
Thomas Mitchell Johnson, 62, must serve two years of supervised release following the six-month federal prison term, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Johnson was sentenced Monday, Jan. 30, in Los Angeles following his admission last year that he violated the terms of a previous three-year period of court supervision by traveling to the Ivory Coast without permission from the court or his probation officer.
“This defendant lied to his probation officer and lied to Customs officials at LAX, and his violations are even more egregious because it appears that he was traveling in order to engage in another scheme to defraud,” said Eileen M. Decker, the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles.
“Despite a lengthy prison sentence, this defendant took steps almost immediately upon release to flout the court’s authority and the law,” she said. “The public should be aware of persistent recidivists who simply cannot stop committing their crimes.”
Johnson — a former member of the boards of directors of the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce and the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles — was on supervised release after serving a prison sentence for conning a North Carolina man out of millions of dollars in a scam that purportedly involved high-yield bonds.
Johnson was sentenced in 2008 after being found guilty at trial of six counts of interstate transportation of stolen property and five counts of money laundering.
Through his company, Zurich Capital Holdings Inc., Johnson offered an investment opportunity to the victim-investor, who transferred $10 million to an account Johnson controlled. Johnson spent the majority of the victim’s money on extravagant personal expenses for himself and his girlfriend, including the purchase of two luxury homes in Burbank and high-end automobiles, including two Bentleys, two Mercedes-Benz and a Land Rover.