Oklahoma Watches and Warnings
Live Interactive KFOR Radar

Update: Salesman charged with fraud

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Update 3/20/17 - Russ Johnson didn't stay a free man for long.

He was arrested for a DUI in El Reno.

We know he spent a week and a half behind bars in Canadian County, was transported to Oklahoma County and booked into jail for violating his probation on a fraud case.

Remember, he's been serving a deferred sentence for defrauding small business owners.

Law enforcement officials tell the In Your Corner team Johnson stopped paying restitution to his victims.

Years ago, he told us the allegations were all a big misunderstanding.

Now, the state is asking a judge to revoke his sentence.

Last year, he also violated his probation on a separate fraud case in Canadian County but was able to avoid more jail time by reaching a new restitution agreement with the state.

Johnson's next hearing is scheduled for late May. 

We’ll keep you posted.

Update 6/2/16 - Russ Johnson will avoid more time behind bars - for now.

The state was asking a judge to revoke his suspended sentence in Canadian County for violating the terms of his probation and failing to pay restitution to one of his victims.

The In Your Corner team has learned that motion was dropped, because Johnson reached a new restitution agreement with the state.

He's still on the hook for more restitution in Oklahoma County for similar fraud convictions, where he sold fake advertising to small business owners, including Jimmy Hendershot from 23rd Street Vapes.  

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

All along, the salesman has told us the allegations were untrue.       

As long as Johnson doesn't violate his probation again, he'll stay a free man.

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 said 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 $1,400 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 said 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 said, 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 said 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 asked Johnson: “You don't ever remember meeting crystal Starbuck?”

Johnson replied: “No, I don't.”

Starbuck and other small business owners, like Jimmy Hendershot, said 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.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.