Prosecutors see no reason why former Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson — who has more than $200,000 in the bank — can't pay a $100,000 fine associated with his extortion conviction before he heads to prison.
Three days before Johnson's 87-month prison sentence is scheduled to begin, prosecutors filed a motion Wednesday requesting that he pay the $100,000 fine up front rather than in installments after his release. The motion comes as a response to Johnson's own filing, requesting that he be allowed to defer payment of the entire fine until he completes his prison term.
Prosecutors for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland wrote that between multiple bank accounts, Johnson has $211,956 in cash that could be used to pay off the fine.
"The fine is payable immediately if the defendant has assets to pay it," U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein said. "As the memo states, it appears that the defendant has the assets to pay it."
Johnson's attorney could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Originally at his sentencing hearing in December, Johnson was ordered to pay a portion of the fine, $30,000, before his prison sentence began. The remainder of the fine was to be paid in $2,000 monthly payments after his release.
Johnson in January requested that his payments be deferred until after the completion of his prison sentence. In that motion, Johnson wrote he was facing "financial burdens" due to unemployment and the "insurmountable legal fees incurred by him and his wife, Leslie E. Johnson, in defending their respective cases."
Both were arrested and charged in 2010 as part of a widespread federal corruption probe that also netted developers, police officers, and business owners in the county.
Johnson, 62, pleaded guilty to extortion and evidence tampering charges related to his acceptance of up to $1 million in bribes while in office. Leslie Johnson, 60, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit witness and evidence tampering and was sentenced to one year in prison.
Johnson is scheduled to turn himself in on Saturday and has requested that he serve his time at Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina.
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Andrea Noble is a crime and public safety reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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