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Sheriff on trial for fake reports

COLUMBIA (AP) — A jury has been seated in the federal fraud trial of Williamsburg County Sheriff Michael Johnson.

The State newspaper reports that Johnson’s trial will begin Monday. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors say Johnson created false police reports so customers of a co-defendant’s credit repair business could claim their overdue bills were caused by people who stole their identity.

Authorities say Johnson helped create more than 100 fake reports over three years in the county of 34,000 people.

Johnson’s co-defendant, Lester Woods, will also stand trial at the same time.

Williams was suspended from office after his indictment in February. He is one of eight South Carolina sheriffs in the past four years to face legal problems.

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