Sarasota Man Charged with Organized Scheme to Defraud; Selling Unregistered Securities

Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) special agents and Sarasota deputies arrested Scott Leon Johnson, 58, of Sarasota on Friday on charges related to organized scheme to defraud.

The investigation began in 2009 after Johnson’s acquaintances reported they had been victimized out of $50,000 by Johnson. The victims allege that Johnson had represented himself as a financial advisor and tax preparer, and had offered them an investment opportunity described as being managed through him.

Johnson told the victims that he was involved in currency exchange investments through which he was receiving a good rate of return.
Agents allege Johnson told the victims that their funds would be invested with an entity called Automated Trading Systems (ATS), which had currency traders in Panama and London.  Johnson then provided the victims with an eaxplanation of how his investment would be used to facilitate returns through currency exchange between various countries monetary systems, i.e. they might invest in Yen and leave it there overnight and later trade it for Pounds in England.  Johnson told the victims that by playing the fluctuation in currency foreign markets, they would all make money.  Johnson said that based on a 7 percent rate of return per month, the victims would receive 5 percent and ATS would receive 2 percent commission. 
According to the victims after leaving their funds in place with Johnson for over a year, in the beginning of 2008 they advised him they needed their funds at which time Johnson then informed them their funds were now worthless and that someone had disappeared with all their money
Johnson was charged with one count of organized scheme to defraud, a first-degree felony, one count of sale of unregistered security, a third-degree felony, and one count of selling security without being lawfully registered, a third-degree felony.
Johnson was booked into the Sarasota County Jail.
For Further Information Contact:
Heather Smith, Kristen Chernosky or Mike Morrison
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001