Thousand Oaks | Arrest in Investment Fraud/Elder Abuse Case


Ventura County Sheriff – Incident Press Release 

A lengthy investigation by Sheriff’s Major Crimes detectives leads to the arrest of 71 year old Thousand Oaks resident James Johnson for victimizing elderly investors in financial scam.

In early 2012, (S) James Johnson relocated to Ventura County, claiming to be a successful day trader and retired partner from a well-known and respected financial firm. Johnson opened a new investment company, First Light Trading LLC, and began soliciting investors. Johnson was able to get large sums of money from multiple victims by guaranteeing large returns over short periods of time.

Unfortunately, Johnson was not a successful day trader or investment expert. Instead, he had recently been paroled from state prison after serving a ten (10) year sentence for stealing more than a million dollars from investors in Orange County, CA.

During his time in Ventura County, Johnson is suspected of stealing in excess of one million dollars from multiple victims and using the money for his own personal enrichment. The investigation also revealed that Johnson often targeted single elderly women as victims.

On June 6, 2018, Johnson was arrested in Nevada and booked into the Clark County Jail. Johnson was then extradited to Ventura County on June 23, 2018 and booked into the Pre-Trial Detention Facility. Johnson’s bail has been set at $1,000,000.00 and he is scheduled to appear in Ventura County Superior Court on July 6, 2018.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office would like to use this opportunity to remind the public to be suspicious of promises that appear too good to be true. Suspects often target the elderly and

non-investment savvy people with investment fraud scams that make false promises of making the victims’ rich.

All investments are weighted with an amount of risk. When contemplating an investment, please consider the following:

  • Beware of anyone offering an unrealistic high return on your money.
  • Beware of anyone who offers to sell you “a risk free investment.”
  • Beware of anyone offering to “help you out.”
  • Research and weigh all risk factors before making an investment.
  • Take time to discuss a potential investment opportunities with friends or family members prior to committing funds.
  • Never let anyone pressure you into making a rushed decision about an investment.

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