Gov. Haley suspends Williamsburg County sheriff after wire fraud - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Gov. Haley suspends Williamsburg County sheriff after wire fraud indictment

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Williamsburg County Sheriff Michael Johnson Williamsburg County Sheriff Michael Johnson

COLUMBIA, SC (WBTW) - South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed an executive order to suspend the Williamsburg County sheriff after being indicted on wire fraud charges.

According to a press release, a Federal Grand Jury in Columbia returned indictments against Sheriff Michael L. Johnson, age 38, of Salters, and Lester L.  Woods, age 48, of Columbia on Wednesday.

Prosecutors say Sheriff Johnson provided a man who ran a credit repair business with fake police reports.

Related: Click here to read the full indictment (pdf document)

Both were charged in a one-count indictment of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. 

Prosecutors say Johnson created fake police reports so customers of the credit repair business could claim their overdue bills were caused by identity fraud. The indictment against Johnson estimates the scheme was used in over 130 credit reports.

Johnson's lawyer issued a statement saying he looks forward to his day in court.
    
Johnson is the sixth sheriff in South Carolina's 46 counties to face criminal charges in the past four years.

The maximum penalty each could receive is twenty years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000. 

Haley's press office said "an interim appointment would be made shortly."

 

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