Smithfield woman charged with swindling investors

A 27-year old Smithfield woman is facing multiple felony charges involving an investing scheme. Logan Police Asst. Chief Jeff Curtis says Johanna Jenkins reportedly attempted to swindle people by telling them she had a major investor who would back building an animal sanctuary at the American West Heritage Center in Wellsville. Jenkins reportedly approached several smaller potential investors and paid a couple of them to attend a proposal meeting with her to obtain the property to put the sanctuary on. Curtis says people began to be suspicious when they called Jenkins to receive paychecks and responded by writing checks on an account that had been closed since February 2010. Several transactions with this money on the closed account occurred within the last several weeks. Curtis says the Logan Police Department started getting calls about the case on March 15th. He says Smithfield and Cache County agencies were also working on similar cases all tied to the investment scheme. Curtis says the Cache County Attorney’s office combined the cases with Logan taking over the investigation. Jenkins was taken into custody late last week and did not post the $20,000 bail. She is scheduled for a court appearance Monday. She is charged with 10 felony counts of forgery, two counts of communications fraud, two counts of theft by deception, and 2 counts of issuing bad checks. Curtis says Jenkins has an extensive criminal history dating back to 2004.

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