Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman, and the Colorado Division of Securities, part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), today announced that Eddie Wayne Johnson, 63, of Sterling, Colorado was found guilty of seven counts of securities fraud and four counts of theft over $20,000. The six-day trial ended with Johnson being immediately remanded into the custody of the Logan County Sheriff’s Office.
Johnson solicited funds from at least five people for the purchase of stock in Overland Trailer Mfg., LLC and Overland Corporation, LLC. Investors gave Johnson a total of $162,000, plus a car valued at $30,000.
Investors were told that the companies, both owned by Johnson, were under contract from large outdoor sporting goods retailers for the production, marketing, and distribution of trailers. In exchange for their investment, Johnson promised high returns with little or no risk. Johnson did not have contracts with the afore-stated businesses, and used the funds in ways that had not been disclosed to the investors, including using some of the funds for personal expenses and for business expenses that were unrelated to the contracted orders.
“This conviction takes a long-term criminal off the streets, and ensures that the people of Colorado are no longer at risk of being victimized by this individual,” said Attorney General Coffman. “I want our citizens to be very careful when choosing to invest their money and urge them to do extra research before handing over cash, especially when someone promises a lot of return for little investment."
Johnson failed to disclose his past criminal history to investors including multiple previous felony convictions for: one count of theft in 2009; one count of theft and one count of offering a false instrument in 2003; and one count of criminal possession of a forged instrument in 1993. He also did not disclose an unsatisfied civil restitution judgement from a previous case.
“With consumer protection as our central mission, we will continue to pursue these bad actors and encourage consumers to be as prepared as possible when choosing investments,” stated DORA Executive Director Joe Neguse.
A sentencing hearing has been set for March 20, 2017 at 1:30PM in Logan County.