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Ex-MTA Official Guilty of Mail Fraud

December 02, 1997

A former acting controller at Los Angeles County's Metropolitan Transportation Authority was convicted Monday on 29 counts of mail fraud for cheating the transit agency out of about $58,000.

Jeannie I. Johnson became the second former MTA official to be convicted in federal court. She faces up to five years in federal prison and a $2-million fine when she is sentenced March 2.

Johnson's attorney, Stanley L. Friedman, said his client maintains her innocence and will appeal the verdict. A jury found her guilty after about five hours of deliberations.

Johnson, 54, of Walnut Creek, was accused of taking money from accountants on a project she supervised.

Johnson's attorney said his client was working as an independent contractor to the MTA and received payments as her "overhead" fee for accountants provided to the agency by her company.

The defense lawyer also complained that the prosecution described the payments as kickbacks, even though she was never charged with accepting kickbacks.

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