Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson's parents have left their son with a mountain of debt, but this apparently wasn't the first time Jack Sr. and Tina Johnson took advantage of a family member. According to two sources with knowledge of the transaction, Johnson's parents secretly seized ownership of his grandfather's Las Vegas condominium to use as collateral for a loan.
(To make this easy to follow, as there are multiple Jack Johnsons involved, we're going to number them. Jack Three is the NHL player; Jack Two is his father, who is accused of scamming both; Jack One [who died in October 2008] is the grandfather.)
Clark County (Nev.) records show Jack One's deed to the condo dated May 5, 2002, when he retired to Vegas. On Oct. 20, 2004, Jack Two requested a change in deed over into his name, listing his Ann Arbor, Mich. address. Two sources tell us that Jack Two transferred the deed without Jack One's knowledge. The signature for Jack One on the original deed (left) and on the deed transfer (right) are significantly different.
The same day Jack One handed over ownership of the condo, Tina filed a quitclaim deed, transferring her share over to Jack Two, who then took out a mortgage. One source says the loan was for approximately $140,000, while the other source, who didn't dispute any other details of the transfer, says it was for $165,000.
Both sources say that Jack One didn't realize he didn't own his condo until nearly a month later. On Nov. 10, 2004, he attempted to sell the condo to a new couple, and "it became apparent that there was this lien on [Jack One's] property," said one source, who believes Jack One paid off the loan "because he didn't want his son to go to jail."
Our sources claim that Jack Two was able to defraud his father (and son) without much effort because they all have the same full name—John Joseph-Louis Johnson—and because Tina had a real estate license and knew her way around the documents. (On June 5, 2007, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth immediately revoked Tina's license for an unspecified rule violation and fined her $10,000.) When Jack One discovered he was being defrauded, one source says, he would settle the debt before the authorities got involved.
Jack One was reportedly furious when, under pressure from his parents, Jack Three fired agent Pat Brisson and signed over control of his finances. According to a source, he knew they would handle his grandson's money the same way they handled his. "Jack knew the history he had with them, that he couldn't have them be in control of the money, and that's exactly what happened," the source said.
Multiple phone calls to Tina Johnson requesting comment from her and Jack Two were not returned. An email to Tina bounced back as undeliverable, indicating that she deleted the account since we contacted her for our previous report. A spokesperson for the Blue Jackets said Jack Johnson is not speaking about his financial situation.
Below are the documents for the Las Vegas condo. The first is Jack One's original deed; the second and third are Jack Two assuming sole ownership; the fourth is Jack One attempting to transfer the deed to a separate couple.
Know more? Email Samer Kalaf at firstname.lastname@example.org.