Conspiracy Theory

Arms dealer-turned-gadfly Al Johnson thinks everyone's out to get him. He's right

The plan, as prosecutors understood it, was for Johnson and his new girlfriend to pack up a U-Haul and drive to Central America, thereby escaping from his non-support indictment. The assistant DA also believed that Johnson would take with him $51 million in negotiable securities (probably the elusive GNMAs) he was stashing in the office. "My investigators were led to believe from his business partners that he had access to money," says Cindy Merrill, who directs the DA's Family Criminal Law Division.

Just why someone with $51 million would drive a U-Haul to Costa Rica was evidently beside the point. Johnson was jailed for the sixth time in six years. As before, he posted bond and went back into the ring.


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If his clients paid him for the countless hours he's spent in meetings, filing motions and appearing in court, Tom Fillion could make a career out of Al Johnson. A combative lawyer whose bushy eyebrows and red face give him the jagged appearance of a retired prize fighter, Fillion cultivates the image. "I know how to hurt a person quick," he says. "Real quick."

His first encounter with Johnson came when Fillion represented Johnson's ex-wife in her attempts to get some of the money Johnson owes in back child support, which has escalated over the years to more than $135,000. Fillion's roster now lists the panoply of Johnson foes, including Ranly, Myers, Higgins and Yates. "The time that I've spent on this thing is unbelievable," Fillion says.

His anger at Johnson is transparent. "I got mad when he filed a grievance on me [with the state bar]," Fillion says. "I got mad when he filed two lawsuits against me."

Fillion is probably also mad that Johnson posts a reminder on his Web site that the attorney was reprimanded twice by the State Bar of Texas in the 1980s for bilking clients. He's upset that Johnson continues to survive with no apparent assets and no income, living off the generosity of those who believe his story. He's furious that Johnson's knowledge of the legal system has enabled him to clog the courts with lawsuits, resulting in huge costs to himself, his clients and the state — but none to Johnson, who represents himself pro se.

And he can't be too pleased that as often as he seems to have Johnson pinned to the ropes, he wiggles free. Fillion filed a food stamp fraud charge with the state, which has been dropped. He's succeeded in getting Johnson jailed, only to see him make bond or win a reprieve in court. He's tried without success to prove Johnson has money, which he still believes. "We're gonna prove Al is a wealthy man," he says.

This time, though, Fillion thinks he's got Johnson in his sights. "I'm gonna pull the plug on him," he says.

After a March hearing on the child-support case, Fillion detected several instances in which Johnson's testimony contradicted itself. He handed the material to assistant DA Craig Goodhart, who gained a perjury indictment against Johnson. The prosecutor tried to get his bond revoked, but Johnson lucked into a lenient judge. He was released the next day after a friend loaned him the money to post the $30,000 bail.

Of all the wrongs Johnson may have committed, the perjury charges seem irrelevant and trivial. They center on Johnson's novels, thinly veiled versions of his conspiracy theory titled To Beat the Border and The Baca Files.Written in an impenetrable, choppy potboiler style, it's hard to imagine them generating much interest from a publisher. Chapter titles include "You fuck with me or my investigation and I'll cut off your balls" and "Let me show you how the game is played, bitch!"

Things devolve into the depths when Johnson tries his hand at erotica. "Finally Alex could stand no more. With a deep final thrust which caused both of them to scream out in pleasure, Alex collapsed on top of the woman who in reality, really was the 'girl of his dreams.'"

Johnson wrote the books under the pen name B.F. Flemming. A letter he wrote seeking an agent to market the books explains that he used a pseudonym "because I am a federal witness in various illegal arms transactions involving various criminal groups at this time, and until this matter is finalized by the U.S. Government, it is vital that I keep a very low profile, and my location is not disclosed."

The perjury indictment arises in part because Johnson has also testified in court that B.F. Flemming is a real business associate who lives in Mexico City and now controls most of his assets. He is also accused of lying in testimony that he never tried to sell the books, and that he doesn't have any of the manuscripts. The assistant DA says Johnson signed a contract with his second ex-wife last year to market the books, drafts of which he supplied.

Johnson may have trouble in front of a jury, especially if asked to prove the existence of Flemming or his other phantom associate in Mexico City, Steve Bristol. But the jury may turn off to the attempt to nail Johnson on those particular points, especially since more egregious cases of perjury occur daily in the courts without consequence. "It does concern me that there seems to be such a strong desire to see Al take a hit on something," says Jim Mount, his court appointed attorney.

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2 comments
islanderpilot50
islanderpilot50

al johnson has been mobilizing people in the Philippines representing to be the CEO of Quantum International. He has been and still is soliciting memoranda of agreement with various Local Government Units by promising to finance the construction of a $450 million project for the construction of a plasma plant. He first secured an agreement with a city mayor in the southern part of the country back in 1998. Until now, al was never heard of by the Mayor. It did not stop there because under the same modus, he was able to secure several memoranda from different Mayors in various parts of the Philippines. IS THIS GUY FOR REAL???? OR FOR REEL??

islanderpilot50
islanderpilot50

al johnson has been mobilizing people in the Philippines representing to be the CEO of Quantum International. He has been and still is soliciting memoranda of agreement with various Local Government Units by promising to finance the construction of a $450 million project for the construction of a plasma plant. He first secured an agreement with a city mayor in the southern part of the country back in 1998. Until now, al was never heard of by the Mayor. It did not stop ther because under the same modus, he was able to secure several memoranda from different Mayors in various parts of the Philippines. IS THIS GUY FOR REAL???? OR FOR REEL??

 
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