COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Former Fifth Circuit Solicitor Dan Johnson has been indicted on 36 additional federal charges, U.S. Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced Wednesday.
Johnson, 47, of Blythewood, was charged in a 36-count superseding indictment by a federal grand jury in Columbia on wire fraud, mail fraud, theft of federal funder, false statements, conversion of federal funds, and obstruction.
Johnson faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on the wire fraud, mail fraud, and obstruction of justice charges; a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison on the theft of federal funds and conversion of federal funds charges; and a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison for the false statements charge.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorneys Winston D. Holliday, Jr., Alyssa Leigh Richardson, and William C. Lewis of the Columbia office are prosecuting the case.
Johnson has been charged at the state and federal level already. The South Carolina Attorney General’s office charged Johnson with embezzlement and misconduct of office. Governor Henry McMaster removed him from office at that time. The initial federal charges were for more than two dozen charges including wire fraud and theft of government funds.
Authorities had been investigating Johnson’s spending habits while in office, including expensive trips to exotic locations and more. Despite the controversy, he ran for his office again but lost in the June 2018 primary to the eventual winner, Byron Gipson.
The office’s former director of communications, Nicole Holland, was also charged but took a plea deal on Nov. 1. Facing two count - wire fraud and mail fraud - Holland entered a guilty plea and will be sentenced on Feb. 26, 2019.