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Man accused of scamming women out of money charged in federal court
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Man accused of scamming women out of money charged in federal court

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Eugene Johnson (copy) (copy) (copy)

Johnson

A Maryland man who was arrested in King George County more than three years ago and accused of bilking multiple women out of thousands of dollars was charged in federal court this month for essentially the same crime.

Eugene Lewis Johnson Jr., 39, of Leonardtown, Md., is charged with fraud in U.S. District Court in Richmond. Court records state he conned at least eight women in multiple states who he met on dating websites out of more than $267,000.

Johnson was previously charged in King George with 10 counts of obtaining money by false pretenses. He was arrested in early 2018 after several women complained to the King George Sheriff's Office that they'd been scammed out of money.

None of the victims lived in King George, but some of them met up with Johnson in the county after meeting him on websites such as Plenty of Fish.

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Johnson was indicted by a King George grand jury in April of that year, but the charges were dropped a couple of months later. Commonwealth's Attorney Keri Gusmann said it would have been difficult to prove that any of the crimes occurred in King George and that the case was better suited for the federal authorities.

Three years later, a federal charge was filed. Court records state that Johnson ran a scam from December 2014 to January 2018 that ensnared at least eight women in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Federal court records mirror much of the evidence that King George authorities turned up. Using aliases such as "Tony Taylor'' and "Michael Royer," Johnson is alleged to have told women stories such as he was a military officer who had either been robbed or was in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service.

He charmed the women with claims that he wanted to marry them and have children together. He then talked the women into providing money that he said he would have eventually repaid, court records state.

The money was sent to Johnson through wire transfers or in cash shipments sent through FedEx or UPS. One woman was bilked out of $80,000.

Johnson was arrested in King George in January 2018 after one victim became suspicious and called police. A county deputy stopped a vehicle similar to one described by the victim and arrested Johnson, who the victim knew as Tony Taylor.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

kepps@freelancestar.com

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