A Prince George's County councilwoman arrested last fall after she was accused of destroying a $100,000 check from a developer faces a new federal charge of conspiracy, prosecutors said Friday.
Federal prosecutors filed a criminal information Friday charging Leslie Johnson with conspiracy to commit witness and evidence tampering. The filing of an information typically indicates that a defendant is preparing to plead guilty. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland and one of Johnson's lawyers, Shawn Wright, declined to comment Friday.
The new charging document largely repeats accusations first made in November, when Johnson was arrested along with her husband, Jack Johnson, the former county executive of Prince George's County. Jack Johnson has since been indicted on charges including conspiracy, bribery and extortion for his alleged role in a pay-to-play scheme involving campaign contributions from developers. He has vowed to fight the indictment.
A panicked Leslie Johnson called her husband after FBI agents showed up at the couple's Mitchellville home on Nov. 12, federal prosecutors said. Recordings of the conversation show Jack Johnson directing his wife to flush down the toilet a $100,000 check given to him by a developer. Authorities said they found more than $79,000 in cash in Leslie Johnson's underwear and bra.
The criminal information seeks forfeiture of that cash.
Leslie Johnson faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the conspiracy charge.
Last week, Jack Johnson pleaded not guilty in the case.