Man pleads guilty to wire fraud

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A self-proclaimed religious leader and Augusta businessman is back in jail this week after a judge found continuing allegations of fraudulent activity as grounds to revoke his bond.

In a court order signed Monday, Judge W. Leon Barfield ruled that Sabra Harrison Johnson also must forfeit his $100,000 bond, which was secured by $10,000 cash.

After he was rearrested, Mr. Johnson pleaded guilty Monday to wire fraud.

Mr. Johnson was president of Tour of Hope and claimed a ministry in Augusta through World Faith Church from 2003 to 2005.

He was arrested on charges that he used the Social Security numbers of job applicants to obtain fraudulent access to credit cards.

According to Judge Barfield's order, when Mr. Johnson and his wife learned that officers had a search warrant for their home, they fled to Houston.

Matilda Johnson is still a fugitive with charges pending against her in Columbia and Aiken counties.

According to the judge's order, Mr. Johnson continued the ministry in Houston and kept swindling people by stealing their identities.

He also allegedly operated a scam enterprise in Houston, claiming to be an experienced wedding caterer and floral arrangements specialist.

Mr. Johnson also allegedly:

- Lied about his income to obtain a loan for a vehicle;

- Left behind a stash of credit applications with various versions of his name and different Social Security numbers;

- Skipped out ahead of a stream of vendors, civil process services and check-cashing company representatives;

- Wrote bad checks for rent;

- Cheated employees out of their pay;

- Used false personal information to obtain a lease for a storefront.

"Throughout the time period from the beginning of the scheme alleged in the instant indictment, on or about Jan. 1, 2003 ... Mr. Johnson has participated in a series of fraudulent schemes specifically designed to defraud people of money -- be it unpaid salaries, fraudulent representation of services to be provided, bounced checks, or fraudulent credit applications," Judge Barfield wrote.

Mr. Johnson will remain in custody until sentencing. No date has been set.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (29) Add comment
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realistineducation
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realistineducation 11/20/08 - 07:52 am
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umm, umm, another black

umm, umm, another black 'minister' what would god do? self-proclaimed? shame on you.

karmakills123
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karmakills123 11/20/08 - 08:34 am
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LOL..he's sharing the

LOL..he's sharing the wealth.........

amazed1
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amazed1 11/20/08 - 09:05 am
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Black or White, makes no

Black or White, makes no difference, he and his wife should pay the price for their criminal activities.

JohnQPublic
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JohnQPublic 11/20/08 - 09:36 am
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He has a child in town that

He has a child in town that he does not acknowledge or pay support for.....

pofwe
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pofwe 11/20/08 - 09:43 am
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justus4, help!!

justus4, help!!

gosh
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gosh 11/20/08 - 09:57 am
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And people ask what I don't

And people ask what I don't go to church...

GSneed
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GSneed 11/20/08 - 10:09 am
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Where does it even mention

Where does it even mention that he was Black? Actually, he's white, has kids at C.T. Walker and lives in Columbia County.

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 11/20/08 - 10:27 am
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You all are some stupid

You all are some stupid idiots. " Another Black Minister". what in the hell does that have to do with anything? I don't know nor do I care what race he is. @Real

FringeElement
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FringeElement 11/20/08 - 10:29 am
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This is why I stopped going

This is why I stopped going to church. It is full of devils.

KingJames
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KingJames 11/20/08 - 11:20 am
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I've looked through this

I've looked through this article a couple of times now and I don't see where it says this was another black minister. Realistineducation, please share with the rest of us how you determined this man's race. Was it his name? Was it his wife's name? I don't think so because black folk don't tend to use last names for first names. Blacks don't tend to use things found in nature for names either. We might make something up and spell it oddly, but we don't tend to use the same naming conventions as whites. So, why is it that this guy had to be black? What gave it away? Please tell me because I would like to know if people can tell I'm black without seeing me, or me telling them or hearing my opinion on race issues.

SargentMidTown
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SargentMidTown 11/20/08 - 11:47 am
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Kelly McKnight, Bible

Kelly McKnight, Bible Deliverance Temple, transfers houses to Another Chance Ministrees. This needs to be looked into also. The Jim Bakers of this world don't do anyone any good except themselves. Baxter Stanley, First Assembly of God has an entire block for sale on Fenwick St. There is no property tax being paid on this property because Stanley says that these lots are being used for First Assembly parking. It is not. No one is going to go a block away to park on a dirt surface when they could park on a paved surface that is close to the church. Shame on you Baxter Stanley. Shame on you Kelly McKnight. God is watching.

FringeElement
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FringeElement 11/20/08 - 12:16 pm
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Black folks do nem their

Black folks do nem their children after cars though.

Mercedes
Affinity
Camero Jones

It's so funny.

KingJames
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KingJames 11/20/08 - 12:32 pm
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Right. It's funny how Real

Right. It's funny how Real assumes the person is black. The only thing that might indicate race is the name of the person, which doesn't really say much. I have heard of a few folks named after cars though, but I haven't come across anyone named Cadilac yet.

H222
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H222 11/20/08 - 01:44 pm
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Okay King James, I read it

Okay King James, I read it also, did not see any reference to his ethnic origin. Maybe it was interpreted he was black because his bail was revoked and he was put back in jail, a white person might still be free? What do you think? Can't see any other way they could tell

me too
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me too 11/20/08 - 01:53 pm
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I must have missed where it

I must have missed where it stated he was a "black minister" in this article also.

me too
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me too 11/20/08 - 01:54 pm
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I knew a woman who was named

I knew a woman who was named Chevelle, after the car. Her mother told her that was where she was conceived. Isn't that a heartwarming story you'd like to share with your child?

me too
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me too 11/20/08 - 02:04 pm
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King James, you're right, I,

King James, you're right, I, for one, can't tell by their names if they are black, white or purple.... I know a hispanic woman and a caucasion child both named Matilda. I have never heard the name Sabra before, I couldn't begin to guess its origins. If I guessed about you by your posting name I'd assume you were royalty, King or a version of the Bible!

KingJames
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KingJames 11/20/08 - 02:05 pm
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LOL @ me_too.

LOL @ me_too.

Concerned Citizen
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Concerned Citizen 11/20/08 - 02:43 pm
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omg...

omg...

justthefacts
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justthefacts 11/20/08 - 03:25 pm
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KJ, you never heard of

KJ, you never heard of Cadilac Williams? Great NFL running back? I think it's a nickname actually.

rufus
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rufus 11/20/08 - 03:27 pm
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I knew a guy named Pinto

I knew a guy named Pinto

soldout
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soldout 11/20/08 - 04:30 pm
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Some funny stuff in the

Some funny stuff in the comments...does someone know for sure. Is he black or white?

nottheracecard
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nottheracecard 11/20/08 - 05:30 pm
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Yes he is black but this is

Yes he is black but this is not a race issue. He has caused financial to harm to many hard working people and needs to quit hiding behind god. I am happy he will finally get whats coming to him.

Does anyone have any of the facts about his wife's cases in Augusta?

I guess they thought they could hide and be on the run forever

jhuran
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jhuran 11/20/08 - 06:02 pm
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Well,what race is he ? Istill

Well,what race is he ? Istill don`t know.Does it really make a difference?

mhv
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mhv 11/20/08 - 06:49 pm
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Yes, he is black, I know this

Yes, he is black, I know this for fact. He and his wife had a restrurant on Wrightsboro Road, called Tilly's Peas and Beans. He was riding around in his Hummer back then. Also, was told that his wife worked for the Augusta Chamber of Commerce.

Farful
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Farful 11/20/08 - 07:18 pm
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perhaps he is colored

perhaps he is colored

mable8
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mable8 11/20/08 - 07:19 pm
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Who gives a flying flip what

Who gives a flying flip what ethnicity the guy is; the fact is that he caused other people great harm through his fraudulent practices and should be in jail. There ought to be a law against representing himself as a minister--but there isn't. Hope the judge throws the book at him and his wife when she is finally apprehended. Far as I am concerned, they are both cowards, so their "coloring" is probably jaundiced--or maybe they have yellow bellies.

LaTwon
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LaTwon 11/20/08 - 08:59 pm
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realist is angry cuz black

realist is angry cuz black folk defeated his gay agenda.........
the queer calling the kettle black..... hahahahhaaaaaa

peach66
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peach66 11/21/08 - 04:19 pm
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Yes he is of color and is a

Yes he is of color and is a con FACT.

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