Solicitor Johnson of Blythewood indicted

Charges Include Mail and Wire Fraud, Theft of Federal Funds

COLUMBIA – Blythewood resident and Fifth Circuit Solicitor Daniel Johnson, 47, was charged on Tuesday in a 26-count indictment for wire fraud, mail fraud, conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and theft of federal funds.

Johnson

Also indicted on the same charges was Nicole Halliett Holland, 49, Director of Communications for the Solicitor’s Office.

The defendants are facing penalties of up to 20 years with a potential fine up to $250,000 for the first three charges and imprisonment up to 10 years with a potential fine of up to $250,000 for theft of federal funds.

Johnson and Holland are accused of siphoning public funds from the Fifth Judicial Circuit to finance their private lifestyles, according to the indictment.

Holland is accused of aiding and abetting Johnson, who was her boss.

Johnson, who was elected solicitor in 2010 and re-elected in 2014, and Holland are accused in the indictment of having used solicitor’s office credit cards to pay for personal expenses including travel, vacations, romantic liaisons, medical expenses and double-reimbursements for military training.

If convicted, Johnson and Holland would have to forfeit a sum of money equal to all proceeds the defendants obtained from the offenses charged in the indictment – a minimum of approximately $55,000.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

Gov. Henry McMaster on Wednesday formally suspended Johnson from office and appointed state deputy Attorney General Heather Weiss as interim solicitor.

Weiss will serve until early January, when an election will be held for a new solicitor.

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