Oklahoma Watches and Warnings
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Update: Salesman Charged with Fraud

UPDATE 12/28/15: Our In Your Corner team has new information involving an Oklahoma salesman.

For several years now we've been keeping close tabs on Russ Johnson.

Small businesses allege he sold them bogus advertising.

There are loads of complaints and a growing list of fraud convictions.

Court records show just last month prosecutors asked a judge to revoke Johnson's suspended sentence in Canadian County after he failed to report to his probation officer and stopped paying restitution to victims. 

We uncovered several more new fraud convictions in Oklahoma County where he must pay back $12,000 to victims there.

The salesman denies selling fake advertising to anyone. 

Johnson’s next court date is scheduled for February.

We'll keep you posted.


Update: Our In Your Corner team continues to track Russ Johnson.

We’ve heard from a number of small business owners who say they paid the salesman cash for advertising they never received.  

We know the salesman now has a new conviction on his record for check fraud in Canadian County.

A judge sentenced him to one year probation and ordered him to pay one of his victims more than $1400 dollars in restitution.

There are more fraud cases still pending in Oklahoma County.

Johnson could enter a plea in one of those cases later this month.

We'll keep you posted.


Update:  New details involving an Oklahoma salesman who's become a regular on In Your Corner this year.

Russ Johnson is charged with defrauding customers in at least three counties, accused of selling fake advertising.

Johnson got paid, but at least three small business owners say they never received their advertising.

This summer Jimmy Hendershot told us he wasn't convinced authorities were taking his complaint against Johnson seriously, but then our In Your Corner story aired.

“I got a call that next day,” he said. “They said, ‘Are you the one that was on the news last night? They said, ‘Well, they're going to go ahead and file charges.”

Russ Johnson is now charged with two separate crimes in Oklahoma County for defrauding Hendershot and Jason Harper, owner of Worldwide Dent Repair.

“As far as the law is concerned I hope he gets punished to the full extent,” Harper said.

Harper fixes car dings for a living, but says this time it was his pocket-book that took a $2,000 hit.

He said, “The audacity of somebody to walk in, in broad daylight and basically without a gun, hold you up.”

Wednesday at court we tried asking Johnson and his attorney about the new allegations, but both men refused to answer any of our questions.  

Court papers show Johnson owes creditors a whole bunch of money.

Unless a judge orders the salesman pay restitution, there's a chance his customers may never see a dime.

We'll keep you posted on things.


EL RENO, OKLA. - We have new details involving an Oklahoma salesman.

Customers say Russ Johnson is running a fake advertising company.

Now we've learned he's facing new charges tied to complaints against his business.

Already we've caught the salesman in several lies, like pretending not to know dissatisfied customers.

In Your Corner reporter, Scott Hines, asks Johnson, “You don't ever remember meeting crystal Starbuck?”

Johnson replies, “No I don't.”

Starbuck and other small business owners, like Jimmy Hendershot say Johnson sold them fake advertising.

“His deal is not too good to be true,” he said. “It's fair. It's as if he was working a legitimate advertising company.”

Johnson is facing a bogus check charge in Canadian County.

Now we've learned he's wanted in Oklahoma county.

Wednesday, the District Attorney filed new fraud charges against the salesman.

To this day Johnson claims a media buyer in Dallas has some of his customers' cash.

“I have to get my money back from the media buyer,” he said.

But when we asked for that media buyer’s name, Johnson refused to give it to us.

“I am not giving you anymore, No. You're a pain in the butt, man.”

Johnson still refuses to give us that media buyer's name, if one even exists.

He still hasn't refunded any of his customers their money.

We'll keep you posted on things.

Filed in: In Your Corner, News

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