Reynoldsburg Realtor Gene P. Johnson is scheduled to appear in Franklin County Common Pleas Court April 9 after being indicted by a Franklin County grand jury on 14 counts related to a series of real estate transactions in 2006.

Reynoldsburg Realtor Gene P. Johnson is scheduled to appear in Franklin County Common Pleas Court April 9 after being indicted by a Franklin County grand jury on 14 counts related to a series of real estate transactions in 2006.

Five other people are also facing charges following an investigation by the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission (OOCIC).

The indictments, filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court on July 15, 2011, include a total of 42 counts, 14 of which involve Johnson.

The counts against Johnson include one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, one count of theft, six counts of money laundering and six counts of receiving stolen property.

Also named in the 42-count indictment were Charles W. Winters of Columbus, Patrick H. West of Blacklick, James Darnell Gaither of Hamilton, Deborah L. Kistner of Hilliard and Donnell O. Gattis Jr. of Columbus.

Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Ron O'Brien said the charges were the result of an investigation conducted by an OOCIC mortgage fraud task force.

Johnson and Gattis were allegedly involved in purchasing six properties and reselling them, "almost contemporaneously at an inflated value through a 'straw man or woman' with a bogus appraisal - the ultimate victim being the financial institution that loaned the money on the inflated value," O'Brien said.

The financial institutions involved, according to the indictment, include Baytree Lending Co., American Home Mortgage and WMC Mortgage.

"They do what they call 'mortgage fraud flipping' of the property," O'Brien said. "That's where they buy and sell property over a period of time and increase their value with phony appraisals."

The transactions took place between March 21, 2006 and Nov. 3, 2006, according to the prosecutor's office.

O'Brien said the most serious charge against Johnson is the count of engaging in corrupt activity, which is a first-degree felony and can carry up to a 10-year prison sentence.

Johnson's attorney, S. Michael Miller, said all of the people indicted have entered not guilty pleas.

When contacted for comment, Miller had little to say.

"We're working together, and I talk to the prosecution regularly, but other than that, I don't have anything to say," Miller said.

"As far as I know, everybody in our case has been arraigned," he said. "There's other cases involving the allegations involving other people but the five in our case, everybody's been arraigned. We're together, and we're set for trial in front of John Bessey on April 9, and whether it goes or not, I don't know."