Minnesota man facing 10 years for housing investment scam

Ronald Johnson told investors he was using their money to build housing for oilfield workers. Instead, he was buying classic cars and private islands

Minnesota man facing 10 years for housing investment scam

A Minnesota man has been sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for scamming more than $2.1 million from victims in a housing fraud scheme.

Ronald David Johnson, 51, was sentenced to 126 months in prison after being convicted of nine counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.

According to prosecutors, Johnson’s scam centered around the need to house oil workers in North Dakota and Montana. His company, Indoor RV Parks (IRVPK) would allow oil workers to park their RVs in large, climate-controlled warehouses where they could access amenities like onsite storage and laundry facilities. Johnson told investors that they would receive a percentage of the rental income and other revenue generated by IRVPK.

Johnson raised $2,1 million from four investors, telling them that the money would be used to build and manage the indoor RV parks. Instead, he used the cash to repay prior investors, fund his own 51-acre cattle farm, take vacations, buy vintage cars, and purchase real estate – including a private island on a Minnesota lake.

“As of today, IRVPK has not built any indoor RV parks, has not acquired any property in North Dakota or Montana, and has a bank account that is empty,” the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota said in a release.

“Ronald Johnson abused the trust of his victims only to enrich himself at their expense,” said Assistant US Attorney Joseph Thompson. “He promised investors he would use their money to purchase land in North Dakota to build indoor RV parks, but it was all a lie. Johnson simply stole their money.”