A Watford City accountant pleaded not guilty Tuesday in federal court to an added charge in a fraud case connected to the oilfield venture of a Spokane businessman and the man who ordered his murder.
Before District of North Dakota Magistrate Judge Charles Miller Jr., Rene Johnson entered her not guilty plea to false statements on a loan application. A grand jury returned a new indictment filed earlier this month which included the new charge in addition to her previous charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and material false statements to a federal agent.
In 2013, Johnson allegedly funneled $400,000 from three investors to a bank account of Kingdom Dynamics Enterprise Inc., an oilfield development outfit created by Doug Carlile in 2012. He and James Henrikson were oilfield associates and had dealings through Kingdom Dynamics.
Henrikson was convicted in 2016 at the center of multiple murder-for-hire plots, including the murders of Carlile and KC Clarke, an employee of Henrikson’s Blackstone trucking company.
Johnson is set for trial late next month in Bismarck's federal court, though Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Delorme has asked for another continuance related to the availability of an essential witness.
Johnson and her attorney, Irvin Nodland, declined to comment after her arraignment.
"We're not making any statements," Nodland said.
Johnson was initially indicted in September.