This is the 9th post in my series discussing private investigators. It highlights former private investigators Elaine White & Cullen Johnson who were convicted of a money laundering conspiracy. The conspiracy involved bogus asset searches Ms. White & Mr. Johnson apparently performed for their clients. Mr. Johnson seemed to blame the bogus searches on ‘the fog of information.’ As also set forth below, Ms. White recently petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus arguing she should be resentenced in her criminal case.
From about 2006-2012 ex-Toronto private investigator Elaine White &/or her husband ex-police detective Cullen Johnson, offered asset searches including a search for bank accounts. Ms. White’s & Mr. Johnson’s clients were licensed private investigators, divorcing spouses & others seeking assets hidden from them. Ms. White &/or Mr. Johnson however, supplied their clients with phony financial data/spurious bank account information. As reported at “Island-hopping private eyes indicted on fraud, money laundering charges,” police criminally charged Ms. White & Mr. Johnson for frauds related to clients in Canada.
Ms. White & Mr. Johnson then fled to the Bahamas & the Turks & Caicos Islands. Next, they were extradited from the Turks & Caicos Islands to face criminal charges in Newport News, Virginia in USA v. White, et al. Docket No. 4:13-cr-00047. An August 23, 2012 Affidavit In Support Of Criminal Complaint And Arrest Warrant described the criminal case against Ms. White & Mr. Johnson. Ms. White’s & Mr. Johnson’s April 10, 2013 indictment also said they had “operated a purported asset locator business for clients.” During September 2013, Mr. Johnson pleaded guilty to Count Two of the indictment (i.e. conspiracy to commit money laundering). On October 7, 2013 the Court also accepted Ms. White’s guilty plea to Count Two.
The Statement of Facts at Ms. White’s plea agreement showed that Ms. White had provided her clients with “false and fraudulent data and fabricated bank records…” Mr. Johnson also wrote a December 24, 2013 letter discussing the bogus private investigations. According to the letter available here, Mr. Johnson’s ‘misjudgments’ in the investigations were due to the ‘fog of information’:
IF THE EXPRESSION THE “FOG OF WAR” IS DEEMED TO BE ACCEPTABLE AND RECOGNIZED AS BASIS FOR EXPLAINING TRAGIC MISJUDGEMENTS AND ERRORS IN MILITARY SITUATIONS, THE EXPRESSION THE “FOG OF INFORMATION” SHOULD BE DEEMED TO BE AN ACCEPTABLE AND RECOGNIZED BASIS FOR EXPLAINING OTHERWISE IRRATIONAL MISJUDGEMENTS AND ERRORS IN INVESTIGATION SITUATIONS.¹
On January 16, 2014 Ms. White & Mr. Johnson were both sentenced to 66 months in prison, 3 years of supervised release and ordered to pay $1,021,738 in restitution. Ms. White is reportedly serving this sentence at the low-security federal prison in Aliceville, Alabama. While there, Ms. White drafted her December 21, 2015 Petition For A Writ of Habeas Corpus Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. At the Petition, Ms. White alleges she had ineffective assistance of counsel during her criminal case & that she is entitled to a resentencing.
¹ Page numbered “17” at Cullen Johnson’s December 24, 2013 letter, (Docket Entry 76), U.S.A. v. White et al., United States District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, Docket No. 4:13-cr-00047.
Copyright 2016 Fred L. Abrams