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Press Release

March 6, 2018

Former securities broker who embezzled nearly $1.1million sentenced to state prison


Robert Leland Johnson IV (Booking Photo)

SAN BERNARDINO – A former securities broker from Chino who embezzled nearly $1.1 million from a multitude of victims was sentenced Friday to three years in state prison.

Robert Leland Johnson IV, 39, pleaded guilty last month to multiple felonies for grand theft as well as an additional enhancement for taking more than $100,000.

In addition to the state prison commitment, Johnson was also ordered to pay restitution of $1 million to victims.

Deputy District Attorney Rick Lal with the Specialized Prosecutions Division of the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office prosecuted this case. By utilizing a forensic accountant to follow the money trail, prosecutors were able to trace the stolen funds and demonstrate Johnson’s sophisticated scheme to misappropriate victims’ funds for his own personal enrichment.

Lal said the thefts occurred from 2013 to 2015 and that Johnson fraudulently solicited over $1 million from the victims. The fraud included falsely reflecting significant trading profits, concealing losses, and overstating account balances by millions of dollars.

“The defendant would transfer money to his own accounts to pay for his lavish lifestyle expenses, sometimes diverting a portion in the manner of a ‘Ponzi’ scheme,” Deputy DA Lal said.

The financial discrepancies were discovered by several of the victims who alerted Chino Police Department.

Contact: Christopher Lee, Public Affairs Officer (909) 382-3665 or via email at clee@sbcda.org or via text at (909) 782-5559

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It is the mission of the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office to represent the interests of the people in the criminal justice system, as mandated by California State law. The San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office serves the residents of San Bernardino County by: seeking the truth, protecting the innocent; holding the guilty accountable; preserving the dignity of victims and their families; and, ensuring that justice is done while always maintaining the highest ethical standards.

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