The leader of the Santa Rosa, Calif., Hells Angels received a 12-month prison sentence and ordered to pay $130,000 in restitution for his role in a mortgage-fraud scheme, according to United States Attorney Melinda Haag.
Josh Leo Johnson, the current vice president of the Hells Angels Sonoma Chapter, pleaded guilty on Dec. 13 to wire fraud.
From 2006 to 2007, Johnson was involved in a conspiracy with others to fraudulently obtain mortgage loans. In May 2007, he signed loan applications with false statements to obtain property in Healdsburg, Calif. Mortgage lenders then used interstate wire transfers to move loan funds into Johnson's account.
In the loan applications, Johnson stated that he had been the owner of a fictitious company for several years and made a hefty, recurring salary. The documents supporting the loan applications also contained altered bank statements in Johnson's name to reflect a series of inflated balances in his bank account. The loan applications Johnson submitted ultimately resulted in a loss to SunTrust Mortgage of approximately $135,000. The amount of loss in the overall conspiracy is at least several million dollars.
Johnson, 36, of Santa Rosa, California, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Sept. 1. He was charged with conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud and with wire fraud. He pleaded guilty to wire fraud.